You may not be a victim of sleeping sickness yet your boss has just told you to stay awake during meetings and to stifle that yawn. But, how do you do it without being rude? The reality may well be that you are in a boring meeting.
Here are my four options for getting out of this tricky situation…
1. Leave the meeting
It may sound crazy but if you are bored of the meeting, you don’t feel you are contributing / have any reason to be there, then why not just leave? A quiet word with the meeting chair – (if you’re not sure, then read how to find out who is the meeting chair) – ‘do you still need me for this part of the meeting?’ and you can excuse yourself.
In reality that’s probably the best solution, you manage to claim back some valuable time for yourself and you don’t waste other people’s time or take up space in a meeting room.
2. Get fit, sleep more, eat better
For many, sleepiness in meetings is a symptom of our ‘always on’ culture – you may actually not be getting the rest you need. If you’re in doubt then visit your GP who will certainly be able to recommend a better work-life-party balance. It’s worth mentioning that while stimulants such as caffeine can help in the short term, they only alleviate the symptoms – it’s up to you to deal with the root cause. Exercise and good food will help too.
3. Say something
This is an old trick I learned and its an absolute winner. Speaking during a meeting can really help bring your brain back into gear and return focus to your eyes. If you can’t add anything sensible then asking a question, clarify what someone has already said to be sure you fully understand it. These are all ways you can interject in a meeting and get your adrenaline moving again.
4. Take detailed notes
If you’re struggling to stay with it, then you need to get active. Try taking really detailed notes – you won’t be able to copy down every word but by trying to track the meeting and putting pen to paper, you will engage your mind and body in the meeting and bring it back into focus.