How to survive boring meetings

This is about meetings at work. If it’s a commissioning meeting about you or you’re pitching to someone, you won’t be bored. Every other meeting, you will. Now, clearly, the most useful and productive thing you could do in a typical work meeting is to get out of it. But since you’re lumbered, do this instead.

Next time you’re in one and somebody is droning on about stuff you have no need or use or desire for, make notes as if you have need and use and desire for it all. It passes the time and that’d be enough because anything that gets you through a meeting is worth it.

But along the way, there are going to be things you spot that actually might be interesting. Usually they’re lost in the droning, but you’ve got them there and they’re standing out at you. Also, you will often get lumbered with some task you have to do. Treat these the same way.

Specifically, when you’ve written in the meeting, put this in the left margin next to them: “- – “. Two dashes. Some people draw a little cube. Some just swipe the pen down to make a large stroke before the first word.

Whatever mark you make, make a mark. Whether you’re handwriting on paper or typing into your iPad, make a mark like this and later you can very quickly see what you’ve got to do. You can very quickly pick out the tasks from the droning.

You know I like technology, though, right? I do this in Drafts 4 on my iPad and recently I’ve been using the @ symbol followed by a space, my name and a colon before the task. That sounds tedious and unnecessary but for how there is a free script you can get for Drafts. Press one button and it scoots through all the droning, finds those @ marks and pops each one into my OmniFocus To Do list.

If you have Drafts 4 – er, and also OmniFocus – go get that script here.

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