Don't wear a watch to work this week. This is an experiment in time management. Looking at your watch while you're in a meeting is a highly distracting thing you can do to a conversation. Looking down at your watch tells the other person that you're conscious of the time and leads to interpretation that either you're going to motor through things, draw things out, think about what's next rather than give 100% and a number of other signals. Signals that you probably aren't meaning to give. Recall the man who has a suit on and extends his arm far enough for the jacket and shirt sleeve to uncover his watch – about a subtle as a siren on an emergency vehicle.
So, lose your watch and use their watch! It's easy and usually invisible to the other person when you glance across the desk or table and read their watch. You can keep on schedule, maintain awareness of the pace of a meeting, and be unobtrusive while you do it.
When you don't wear a watch you will notice how many other sources for time there are:
- Your cell phone or PDA
- Clocks everywhere – at people's desks, in awards sitting on the shelf, and in your car
- In the hallway and back of meeting rooms
- On instruments
- At the bank sign
- On every computer screen
- Your companion's wrist
Try stepping out of the 'box' and watch how well you can operate. This is a big step after decades of wearing a watch – and a good way to stretch your skills!