Mar 192009
Board meeting room
Image via Wikipedia

It’s difficult to think of anything that wastes your precious time more than attending meetings.

Working parents around the country lament the fact that they don’t have enough time to spend with their children. But if you add up how much time those same working parents spend travelling to, waiting for and sitting around in pointless meetings you’d be shocked at the results. A huge chunk of the working population waste days – weeks even – every year sitting in meetings. And for what? To talk about things that could have been discussed on the telephone or online, or to listen to things that don’t really concern them at all. What a waste!

Sometimes in any business you need the face-to-face collaborative communication that only a meeting can provide. But the truth is those occasions are much rarer than you might think. These days days, thanks to the internet and the wonders of digital communications technology, there’s usually an alternative that would work just as well, if not better, would be quicker, and would prevent participants having to travel long distances to attend. Ireland just hasn’t been open to exploring the opportunities. Continue reading »

May 052008

Who do you really work for?

It’s not a trick question, it’s not that I suspect you’re involved in some sort of shady commercial espionage. It’s a simple, straightforward query:

  • Do you work for your supervisor?

  • Do you work for your line manager?

  • Do you work for your HR Department?

  • Do you work for your CEO?

The answer, of course, is none of the above. When you break it down we go to work for ourselves. Whether we’re self employed, working on the shop floor, of a high-flying executive with a swanky corner office… we work to support ourselves, our families and the lifestyle we’ve chosen to live. Work is a means to an end, and while you might enjoy, or even love what you’re doing, ultimately it’s just a vehicle for your financial security, personal achievement and development, fulfilment and, ultimately, happiness.

Unfortunately we tend to forget all of that. We get caught up in the frantic hustle and bustle of working life. Long hours, stress, unrealistic expectations, unmanageable workloads and tortuous commutes conspire to erode the very things we’re working to secure.

Continue reading »

Apr 282008

Published in the Evening Echo 28/04/2008

image Do you ever feel that there aren’t enough hours in the day? Well, you’d be right. Researchers in the US recently discovered that typical middle-class city dwellers are cramming 31 hours worth of ‘life’ into each 24 hour period thanks to multi-tasking and an array of time saving gizmos.

Hands up who’s checked their e-mail on their laptop or blackberry while making their morning coffee? Or used a bluetooth headset to join a conference call on the commute to work, while listening to the traffic report on the radio and checking out alternative routes on the sat-nav?

We’re multi-tasking like crazy to try and squeeze more into our busy lives. Apparently the technology of today has allowed us, for better or for worse, to shoe-horn an additional seven hours worth of tasks into the average day compared to only a decade ago (primitive old 1998 – back when nobody had ever heard of Google).

After a flurry of activity in the morning we arrive at work – which is often a blur of e-mails, calls and meeting combines with switching between multiple tasks to meet unrealistic deadlines. But, according to the study, conducted by global consumer research firm OTX, all of the multitasking we do during our working day pales in comparison to the frantic task juggling that happens once we get home in the evenings.

Continue reading »