With all of life’s constant distractions, it’s difficult to be present, especially during the workday. It’s so easy to find yourself daydreaming, feeling scatterbrained, or unorganized during work meetings when you’re expected bring your full attention. Our minds are running a mile a minute making mental to-do lists and sometimes it seems impossible to quiet those thoughts. During your next meeting, utilize these five tips to be your best, most focused, self.
Forget Your Phone.
It’s no secret that in today’s modern world, technology is a huge distraction. How many times a day do you grab your phone to check a text message or scroll through social media? Probably more times than you’d like to admit. This is the number one way to not to be present when you’re in a meeting. If you leave your phone at your desk, you’re removing the temptation to even take one glance at your screen. It may feel like you’re disconnected from the world, but you’ll be more focused. Plus, I guarantee your boss will notice how much more attentive you are than your co-worker that’s sitting next to you scrolling through Instagram.
Forget Your Computer, Too.
This may be more difficult, as most people live on their laptop at work. But if you don’t need it, leave it. Imagine how many emails you’re going to get during that hour long meeting. Now imagine you have your laptop in front of you. You can’t help but get distracted and check to see if the email is urgent or join in on the email chain to tell your co-workers where you want to go for lunch. Even worse, if you’re working on a big project with a deadline looming near, you’re going to be tempted to work right through the meeting. Technology is wonderful, but if you want to be devote your full attention to the present moment, only bring a notebook and a pen.
We’ve all been there. You walk into a meeting and you forgot to read the email invite. You spend the whole meeting playing catch-up on the conversation, while nodding in agreement pretending like you know what’s going on. If nothing else, always, always, always be prepared. Set aside a few minutes before a meeting to read over the invite or materials that were sent to you. Someone spent the time to put the information together, so make sure you utilize it.
Make A List.
While you’re reviewing the agenda for the meeting, get out your pen and paper and take notes. Make a list of the items to be discussed, helpful information, and any questions you may have. This will make you feel most prepared and you’ll be more likely to concentrate when you can anticipate where the conversation is going.
You’ve done all the leg work to prepare for the meeting, now put it in action. If you’ve been paying attention and following along with the conversation, it’s only natural that questions and comments will arise. So raise your hand! When you actively engaged in the discussion, you’re going to maximize your takeaways from the meeting and stand out of the crowd.
What are some of your favorite tips and tricks for work meetings? Let me know!