“Coming together is a beginning, staying together is progress, and working together is success.” – Henry Ford
Hey! Eyes up here! Take a look around in your next meeting or brainstorm. How many eyes are locked on you as you’re speaking? Are you hearing tippy tappys from happy keyboards? Rest assured, that person focused clearly on the rectangular apparatus before him isn’t smiling like a jacka$$ because of your witty quip about the client’s brief, it’s because he just silently watched the “Polka Dot Afro” clip on YouTube for the 40th time.
Top 5 Reasons You Should Ditch the Laptop
- You were asked to be present. You can’t be sorta present. Just like you can’t be sorta pregnant.
- It’s just rude to your team. There’s no “i” in….you get it.
- You’re not that important. Even if you are, it can wait. But you still probably aren’t.
- You’re doing two things poorly, instead of one thing well. You can’t be truly focused on the problem at hand. In fact, you not paying attention is just another problem, so thanks a lot!
- Your best thoughts are going in your status update on Facebook, instead of on the table for your teammates to ridicule review.
Excuses and Solutions For the Top-Heavy Abusers
Excuse: I didn’t have time to read the brief, so I’m looking through it now.
Solution: Print it out when you receive it and have it handy for when the meeting happens. Right, I’m talking about a hard copy. Deal.
Excuse: I want to take notes.
Solution: Unless you’re the PJM, you don’t need to take notes on your laptop. And there are these wonderful inventions called paper and pen. Get some.
Excuse: Most of the time I’m not needed for the meeting
Solution: If you’re there, you’re needed. Man/Woman up and be present and be a problem-solver, you tard.
Excuse: It’s handy for brainstorming so I can look up things for inspiration.
Solution: Lies. The only thing you’re looking up is How To Make Perfect Hard-Boiled Eggs. You can do the research later. Right now, get those ideas up on the board. If Don Draper can do it, so can you.
Excuse: I’m on a deadline and I need to have access to email.
Solution: Oh yeah, if that’s so important then deal with that first. The world won’t fall apart if you don’t have email for 30 minutes. It would fall apart if it were made out of butter cookies. Yummy.
Excuse: I’m totally multi-tasking. I can listen and do what I need to do on my laptop.
Solution: You are one talented….oh who are you kidding?!? You can’t even master the tap your head and rub your stomach trick at the same time. Give it a rest Mrs. Rude. Even if you CAN multi-task, this isn’t the place to do it. Guarantee you’re missing something and your team is missing out by not hearing all the ideas you may have.
Bottom line is this. We’ll all be so much more productive if we follow the Topless rule. I know it’s hard to leave your little one behind. At first it’ll be trying and there will be some separation anxiety. But once you come back you’ll see it’s really OK. She’ll make new friends. Like Todd the Telephone and Susie the Stapler. And even Ciara the Cell Phone. YES, you have to leave that at your desk, too. And the Ipad! Don’t make me make another list!