I Hate Conference Calls

You hate them? I hate them more.

Objectives for the Call

I think when you’re on a call you need to have a few objectives.  These goals, of course, are not things that you are trying  to get accomplished on the call itself (which would be nothing, nada, zip, etc.).  Rather, consider  a list of things you’re going to accomplish on other projects while the call is going on.

I think to be fair to yourself you need different levels of goals, say 3 levels.

  1. Easy-as-pie.  These items would be things you’re going to get done during the call even if you have to participate.  They could be things like clip your nails, clean your home office, watch re-runs of The Office, write in your blog, etc.
  2. Goals.  These are things you are expecting to get done, but have a certain risk, implicit in their execution, that you’ll get busted for not paying attention.  These goals could consist of things like writing a proposal for another project, home schooling the kids, playing a video game, shopping online for your anniversary, etc.
  3. Stretch Goals.  Now this is where things get interesting.  These are things that risk a total blow up by your client on your call, screaming “How much to I have to pay you to get you to pay attention?”.  Things in this category could be things like mowing the lawn, changing the oil in your car, getting your haircut (with shampoo), and the crown jewel of stretch goals:  doing two conference calls at once.  The risks here, clearly, are great, but so are the rewards.  You have the potential of actually accomplishing something during the call, which would be almost like you weren’t on a call at all.


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