Time lost or time found (11) / #100DaysToOffload

With over 6 months working remotely, working at home, working from home, location independent working (except we’re not independent, we’re at home), we’ve all come to understand one basic truth. We’re working harder, and often longer than when we were in the office. But we’ve lost the valuable time we used to have between the meetings, either for a comfort break (without having to tell everyone you need it), fresh air as you walk between buildings, a social chat over the kettle or in the cafe line, etc.

The wonderful Maha Bali, a contributor to the #EdTechRations book, wrote about this recently in her article ‘Give Yourself the 5 Minutes You Lost During COVID‘. Whether you’ve witnessed or experienced it as much as some of us, I’m sure you’ve noticed the rush to exit one online meeting, Zoom or Teams or another such video conference/call tool, in order to get to the next. And the lost time we all feel as a result.

“Those 5 minutes are 5 minutes to get your body moving, to take a breath where you don’t have to be talking or focusing or looking at anyone or at a screen. Those 5 minutes sometimes stretched to 10 on days the weather was too good to rush to our next meeting, or when we met a colleague on the way. Or when we arrived at a meeting and some people were not there yet and we socialized.”

Maha Bali

So, in planning the meeting there are three factors in losing time, or finding it again;

  1. The default setting in Outlook, or other mail/calendar tool, should be to a 25-minute or 55-minute duration, not 30 or 60.
  2. The person booking/leading/chairing the meeting can and should be mindful of not only their own rush to exit and get to the next meeting but also their collaborators on the call too.
  3. Each of us has a responsibility here too, to enable not only our own gap and space between meetings but also those around us who are equally rushed between sometimes conflicting appointments.

“Think about how all those 5 and 10 minutes or breathing space add up to throughout your day…”

Maha Bali

Photo by Lukas Blazek on Unsplash