Following Up on My Work Experiment

Hint: People Want Time to Focus

I wrote a blog post about , I ran that experiment.

It worked quite well. We had five people show up (8 invited). We spent the first 5 minutes going around the Zoom channel saying what we were planning to do.

The next 95 minutes we spent individually working. Then we came back and shared our insights.

First, everyone appreciated having a moment of accountability. Each person said what they were going to do, and went about doing it. One person needed to prepare for an upcoming meeting, another had some cataloging and data remediation to do, another had writing to do from the last week’s reading.

I personally discovered that I came to the meeting ill-prepared. I had a simple task I was going to work on. However, I didn’t plan for what to do if it got stuck (which was very likely as it required coordination with another person).

Ten minutes into the experiment, I hit my stuck point and opened my email to send a message. Boom, three other emails drew my attention, and quickly I spun into response mode.

Then I drifted by and saw Slack had another thread that needed urgent attention. My concentrated task went out the window, and I began working on what had become Urgent and Important (instead of just the Important stuff).

In anycase, I learned a lesson. And everyone was eager for me to put it back on their schedule for two weeks from now.