Friday, September 02, 2011

Why In-Person Appointments Waste Time

Meeting people in person is often a major time-waster. Technology allows us to call people on the phone, text them, send emails, collaborate through online shared spaces, videoconference, and recently "hang out". There is a mismatch between what is possible and what people are actually doing. 

One of my biggest pet peeves is when somebody wants to meet because they don't want to tell me something over the phone. Another pet peeve is somebody who doles out assignments one at a time; just give me a damned list with deadlines and leave me alone. As long as you get results, who cares how or when the job is done?

As a for-hire IT guy, I somewhat understand why many people don't take advantage of technology. They don't take the time to figure out how to use technology to do things. To be very blunt, there is no reason to remain ignorant in the age of Google. There are tons of how-to posts everywhere. You can download manuals to almost anything. I see it as a lack of desire to be efficient. 

Going back to meetings, they are a big waste of time. Meetings not only take the time allotted, they take driving time to get to the meeting place, they take driving time to return from whence you came, and they take time plan and digest. Your little 15 minute meeting could easily take 2 hours out of productivity for each person attending. If you were to simply email, call, or teleconference, we'd get more done. 

However, when one person refuses to invest 30 minutes to learn a new technology, that person costs many multiples of that amount in other peoples' time driving over to meet the luddite. The occasional meeting is fine, in person; not every damned meeting. 
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