I've been in a good number of training sessions and meetings the past few weeks, so in catching up on my reading, I saw this apropos post from Nicholas Carr about the multitasking virus. Josh Waitzkin (of Searching for Bobby Fischer fame) initiated the discussion on Tim Ferriss' blog. Christine Rosen also weighs in at The New Atlantis.
The idea behind Josh Waitzkin's post, his experience watching today's students multitasking during a lecture from one of his favorite professors, has strong correlation to meeting behavior both in-person and online. We've all seen people bring their notebook PCs into a meeting. The rest of us are left wondering if they spend the time checking email, chatting in IM, and watching YouTube.
Bringing a notebook PC to a meeting is akin to chewing gum in same, so if you bring one, plan on sharing. Last week I participated in a couple meetings in which all the participants hunkered down for a couple hours at a stretch in a conference room to work on a project. We all brought our notebooks, but we actively used Meeting Center to share content, co-edit and transfer files. It definitely streamlined the process.