So. I spent Monday at an off-site meeting full of very earnest people who take themselves and their pet projects VERY seriously. Let me just say that I completely respect taking one’s work seriously. Believe it or not, I actually love my job and I’m very good at it. Despite the time I spend goofing off espousing my opinions and flirting with Rational, I actually get a lot of work done.
That said, I simply cannot stand long, dull meetings in which nothing is accomplished and people drone on for hours, pedantically debating minutiae, apparently in love with the sound of their own voices.
So, over the course of my professional career, I have developed a number of useful tricks for passing the time while appearing to be paying rapt attention.
And, with just a few simple tips, you too can escape the mind-numbing boredom of high-level, low-productivity meetings:
The number one tool in your arsenal against crippling boredom is a pen. Taking "Notes" is the key. Some people choose to doodle or text away their time in meetings. I find this looks unprofessional. You want to LOOK like you’re fully engaged in the events around you.
Tip #1: Cultivate a scrawling cursive hand that is illegible to all but yourself.
Tip #2: Create HEADINGS with words that actually have some relevance to the meeting at hand so that anyone glancing over at your notes doesn’t realize that you’re really goofing off. I recommend “Training” or “Distribution.”
Tip #3: Look up now and then from your scribbled diatribe to make eye-contact with whoever is speaking. This makes you appear engaged in the meeting and also helps prevent you from missing any important points that you may be called upon later to discuss.
Tip #4: Bullets
- They make you look organized
- They make it easy to slip snarky comments in unnoticed
- They make your notes look longer and more thought out
- Did I mention they make you look organized?
Tip #5: Small scribbled notes in the margins serve two purposes
1) They make it look as if you’ve gone back to add a note to a previous bullet and
2) They add to the overall unreadability of your notes
Tip #6: Add scattered key points or catch phrases from the actual meeting to your notes, circling them for emphasis.
Tip #7: Always, ALWAYS, take your notes home with you at the end of the meeting and NEVER leave them behind for your boss to find.
G'night, all! Rational, I missed you today, lover!