When time is important

Time is money. Good time management is really important in this busy world of ours. But with the increase in reliance on technology is it really helping us be more efficient with our time management?

You could argue that with the advent of video conferencing, the hours spent travelling to and from meetings now become time we could spend being more productive. The trouble with video conference meetings though is they also block out much of the interaction.

Sometimes there’s a glitch and someone can’t get logged in. Or someone arrives late and interrupts the flow by announcing their late attival. Sometimes the details of the meeting are changed but not communicated to everyone. Sometimes the right people aren’t invited to the meeting.

One such occurrence that does wind me up is the system we use at work for meetings. In itself it works fine. But if you are attending the meeting because someone else has forward the invite to you, you don’t get any updates.

I planned most of my working day around a meeting that was due to take place at 2pm. The agenda had been emailed round earlier in the day so I’d read all of the attachments carefully to make sure I had some vague idea about what the meeting was for. I made sure that I went to lunch earlier so that I would be back in good time. I passed messages on to other people to action knowing that I would be in a meeting for a couple of hours so unable to action them myself. Got my whole day pretty much mapped out.

I logged into the call and it said I was the only participant. Fair enough I was prompt, so I’ll give everyone else a chance to log in. After about 3 minutes waiting I’m starting to think this is a bit ominous, so I email a colleague who is supposed to be on the same call. No response from her. Then I check her e-diary to see that she has had a cancellation for the meeting. I double checked my diary but no cancellation received. Then I noticed my invite to the meeting was forwarded. I wasn’t on the original list in invitees.

It seems that the video conferencing software can’t pick up forwardees, so they won’t get any updates. I guess there’s no reason why it should. And no one else thought to pass the message on. But again, why would they?

I have spent the next 10 minutes trying to either get logged into a meeting, thinking I was inept at the logging in process, then trying to determine what was going on. I suppose, given the fact that I’d passed a number of actions on to others, I do at least have the time to spend investigating the issue, but that’s beside the point. I later found out that another party who had also had the invite forwarded had recieved the cancellation. So how did that work? Further investigation required and/or a call logged with IT me thinks.

I watched a TEDxNHS talk back in January featuring Rachel Pilling and Dan Wadsworth that explained if you took 15 seconds to do something now that could save someone else 30 minutes later, then that person did the same, and so on, just imagine how much time would be released and how much less frustrating life would be. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wDqNHIKavVE&app

I guess I need someone to give me a 15 second masterclass on this video conferencing system as I clearly don’t have it set up properly.


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