3 Tips for Surviving a Boring Meeting

Written by on September 3, 2012 in Career - No comments | Print this page

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No matter how interesting your job might be, the odds are that every now and then, you will have to go to a meeting, and that meeting will be boring. However, just because a meeting is boring doesn’t mean you have to be bored through it. Here are 3 tips for making your next boring meeting at work a bit more tolerable.

Ask questions to keep yourself awake and engaged

This is perhaps the easiest tip to follow if you’re interested in surviving a boring meeting at the office. When you ask questions, you force yourself to pay at least some measure of attention toward whatever may be going on in front of you.

As a bonus, whoever is in charge of the meeting will think you are paying attention and engaged, which can earn you considerable points when it comes to things like being promoted or receiving bonuses and raises.

However, make sure you don’t ask questions just for the sake of asking questions, particularly if it is a meeting where people are expected to listen more than ask. You don’t want to stand out in a bad way in the minds of those around you.

Write notes by hand or by computer

Writing notes is a time-tested way of staying awake during the most boring of meetings. What you take notes on isn’t nearly as important as the act itself, as it makes you look like you’re interested and involved in whatever is being said in front of you, even if you aren’t.


As before, make sure you don’t take things to extremes. If it looks like you’re writing too much, you might draw attention to yourself, which is something you never want to do in a boring meeting, as others will start to look toward you for entertainment.

Similarly, if you’re going to use the computer, make sure you are actually typing and not surfing the Internet, as that will be frowned upon by your superiors.

Make a goal of learning at least one new thing

Finally, try to learn at least one new thing from the meeting you attend, regardless of how boring it is. This is one of those elements of business strategy that is far easier said than done, but it can really pay off when you least expect it.

There are plenty of stories about people who genuinely paid attention when no one else was in business meetings and learned new information that led them to make new discoveries or innovations.

At the very least, if you can take one good thing away from a meeting you attend, no matter how small, you will have something to reflect on and talk about with your boss the next time you are stuck in an elevator with him or her.

Naturally, the best strategy for surviving a boring meeting probably centers around learning whatever you can and engaging yourself with the subject matter to the best of your ability. If you can’t do that, do whatever you can to stay awake.

This is a guest post.  Karlee is the Manager of a large company in Sydney, Australia. She says meeting rooms can often be a boring place and people should work on sticking to the point to minimize pointless, lengthy meetings. Away from work, Karlee like to go shopping with her friends and spend time with her family.

Image by Ambro: FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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