I was in a meeting the other day and the person speaking was making it down the list of topics he had prepared. It was supposed to be a quick meeting. Just 15 minutes. But it ended up going almost an hour. The reason? Said person would stop at each explanation of the topic and go on in much greater detail into the subject, why this was the best thing ever and then would venture into his vision of what he would like to see happen.
The vision explanation would start simple and start to get drawn out, with several “I know I’m probably stealing some thunder from others here” statements thrown in for good measure. After a few of these, it was obvious to the other twenty people in the room that these extended details were not necessary for the meeting. Not to mention the meeting was held at 12 noon. Yep, hungry and irritated people getting more hungry and irritated.
Overall, it was pretty harmless, but there was a consensus amongst the group after the meeting of this pattern. One detailed dialogue diatribe after another. It was then that I decided a new term needed to be applied to such diversions of discussion. I call them self distractions.
Now I was sure this term had already been defined. I mean, it’s 2009 and in the midst of the Internet age of everything already have been invented and defined. Sure enough, Google took me to several sites discussing how people can get sidetracked and forget what it was they were working before…. um… oh yeah. Blog post.
Which brings me to the point of this post. Those familiar with my posts out here know I am easily distracted. And most of it is self induced with all sorts of stuff: Google searches on what various bands are up to, working on the many projects I’ve inflicted myself with, thinking of ways to better manage everything… you name it, I can distract myself. But it isn’t self evident until one of two things happen:
- I get fed up with nothing getting completed
- I see self distraction in someone else
And that’s when the focus turned from “what the hell is he talking about?” to “hey, I do that too.”
So can I call that being self aware about my self distractions?
Being self aware of your self distractions is ideal, I would think!
(That guy who had the meeting is obviously NOT self aware, since he spent too much time talking about unnecessary crap at lunchtime! That would’ve made me livid- doesn’t he know that hungry people are hungry people?!)
So, see – you’re a step ahead of him. You run the meeting next time. 🙂
sybil law – Well, based on who the person that was speaking, I think anyone could do a much better job. I wouldn’t mind running the meeting next time, just don’t want the criticism from said person.
Even more frustrating was having lunch already sitting at my desk and not being able to eat it for an hour.
Shall we call this person – Later? I wasn’t even in there and it looked absolutely brutal! (providing that I’m correct in my assumption)
alex – Yes, that would be a good name. And yes, you were correct in your assumption.
I am pretty easily distracted too, but I am also aware of that like you are. That must have been very frustrating at the meeting!
I am the Queen of Distraction. And like you, it usually doesn’t bother me until i get thoroughly fed up with getting nada done. I have a sticky note on my computer screen that says “Digital Fiddlers Never Get Published”…most of the time now…i ignore it and fiddle anyway.
Oh I’m so easily distracted it’s not even funny. I dread to think how many half completed ideas/projects I have on the go at any one time.
I used to do that in my presentations. Now I just stop what I’m saying midsentence and then
tori – Yes, very frustrating. Most people had that “get to the point” look on their faces.
monica – I like that sticky note, although it sounds like it’s not doing it’s job very well. 😉
kevin – I’ve got a (long) list of all the ideas and projects I have. I have to keep them separate so I don’t get so frustrated with seeing even more things not getting completed.
whall – Maybe that’s an IT thing… forgetting what was next in the topical conversation.
Lunch meetings. Why why why do people do this?
I get so self distracted. I forget what I am doing all the time now. I hate it. We all need to quit multi-tasking so much, don’t we?
kilax – I said the same thing when the meeting got rescheduled to an hour sooner. And I agree there’s too much multi-tasking going on in all of our lives. Nice to slow things down a bit every so often to keep things normalized.