Donna's Blog

Vicious cycle of meetings – Part 2: Distraction

In the last article we talked about disengagement. Today it’s about …




Apparently, an adult’s attention span has dropped from 20 minutes on one activity to just 14 minutes. How long can you focus on one thing before checking your phone? My bet is that you’re already looking at your emails, checking your Facebook feed or considering what’s for dinner!


A 2017 Skipton Building Society study showed the average time it took before switching to a new task:

  • Reading – 15 minutes
  • Engaging in moaning or gossiping – 6 minutes
  • Listening to a chatty colleague – 9 minutes
  • Listening to someone speak in a meeting – 13 minutes
  • Listening to something finance-related in a meeting or conversation – 10 minutes


Ways to overcome distraction:

  • Ban using computers and phones unless they serve the meeting
  • Mix it up with flip charts or white boards
  • Give people specific roles to play in the meeting
  • Don’t let discussions go over 5 mins if everyone is not involved
  • Keep the meeting short



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