6 steps to staying focused in meetings

Follow our step-by-step guide to keep focussed during important meetings

Keeping your mind on the job during long meetings can be difficult when you’ve had a heavy weekend or been working hard all week. To keep you from missing any important information, we’ve devised 6 steps to help you come away from the meeting with all the information you need.

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Step 1: Prepare physically
If it’s a big meeting that’s been planned in advance, make sure to get a good night’s sleep beforehand so you’re fresh in the morning. Before the start of the meeting, take a walk outside to get the blood pumping and some fresh air. Also, make sure to visit the toilet before you head in.

Step 2: Have a plan
Before you go in, make sure you know what you want to get from the meeting. Having goals gives you something to focus on and aim for. To keep your mind in the meeting, make sure you have some key questions to ask.

Step 3: Arrive early
It usually takes at least 10-15 minutes for people to get settled and into the right mind-set for meetings, so by arriving a little early you can be in that mind-set from the start. It also allows you to get any gossiping with colleagues out of the way early. Once you’re there early, you can…

Step 4: Prep the room
Select the seat with the least distractions, preferably with your back to any windows so you’re not tempted to daydream and closest to your boss or the speaker so you’ve nowhere to hide. If the room is stuffy, open the window. Remove other distractions like a TV that’s turned on.  Also, if you don’t need them, leave your phone and laptop behind as they’ll only tempt you with their constant updates and notifications.

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Step 5: Get involved
If you sit at the back without engaging, you’re bound to start to drift off and daydream. By being an active part of the meeting you are more likely to remain focussed. Whether you offer to present something or simply are actively engaged in any discussions, being a part of the meeting means you can also drive the direction of it for your own needs.

Step 6: Take notes
Part of being actively involved is taking notes. By doing so you force yourself to listen to the speaker. Or you could just doodle. A study has found that, surprisingly, doodlers are more attentive in meetings. On average, doodlers recall 29% more than non-doodlers.

 

Posted by Ashleigh Sharp

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