Play Lab: Exercise Three

Johnathan, a New Yorker and father of two, works as a product manager at a tech company. From 1pm-2pm he has a meeting with his engineering team, at 2 he has a check-in with his manager, and 3 he has a meeting with the design team.

During his meeting with the engineers, he is taking notes on their discussion, while intermittently outlining topics of discussion for this design meeting later. The engineers can tell when Johnathan is distracted, so they too have another project open on their computers, ready to work on in order to save time. Occasionally the team breaks for 3–5 minutes in order to work on their other projects without the distraction of their meeting. The meeting is very collaborative, since each member of the team is not constantly mentally present. Their meeting is not extremely productive, but they didn’t expect it to be, since it was only an hour long.

Johnathan leaves the engineering meeting satisfied, since he was able to prepare for his next meeting with the designers. Until then, he has check-in meeting with his boss. Another one of his co-workers, Meagan, is also present at the meeting, in order to save time. This makes sense to Johnathan, as it is quicker for the boss to check in with two product managers as apposed to one. While their boss is conversing with Meagan, Johnathan finishes up typing his notes from the engineering meeting, and also messages his wife to say hi. She sends him an interesting article titled “The Art of the Work-Life Balance.” He skims the first few paragraphs, until his boss is ready to talk to him again. The three of them take a five minute break, and Johnathan skims another paragraph of the article, and shares it on Linkedin. Later at the his meeting with the design team, Johnathan is a bit disappointed that the team didn’t finish their task, however this is not unusual. He instructs them to prioritize this project over their others and to manage their time more wisely. He suggests working a bit on this project during their other meetings and during short breaks.

What does Johnathan need? Here are some ideas.

  • A method for managing his time and projects
  • An easy way to switch from task to task
  • Something that prevents him from investing too much time into one task