Meetings can sometimes take a long time and are not always interesting. So it becomes easy to let our minds wander. After all, it’s so easy to start thinking about what to eat for dinner, the new daycare schedule or all the other tasks at work that we haven’t had time to do yet.
Our attention is not always at its peak during meetings but it should be! Meetings are useful for the progress of projects and if you are only half present, you miss crucial information. So here are some simple tips to help you improve your concentration when you attend a meeting.
1. Take notes
Taking notes is an excellent way to stay focused. Write down what is being said, even if it doesn’t concern you directly. Taking notes will prevent you from losing the thread of the meeting. It might even allow you to ask questions you didn’t think of.
2. Avoid distractions
Do not reply to emails or text messages during a meeting. First, it’s disrespectful to the other participants. Secondly, you will quickly lose track of the meeting if your mind is constantly on the other side.
If you use technological tools during your meeting, make sure you will not be disturbed by other things (emails, kitten videos, etc.).
The use of a meeting management tool is very useful to help you organize your meetings and greatly improves their efficiency. However, being disturbed by the noise of an incoming email or text message can compromise all these efforts. Stay focused!
3. Ask questions
Challenge yourself to ask, at least, one question during the meeting. To meet this challenge, you have to pay attention to what is being said to be able to react. If you are more of an introverted personality, write down your question immediately, and then ask it at the end of the meeting for example!
Marianne Baker even suggests preparing some questions in advance. You will, therefore, need to be attentive to ask your questions at the right time. After all, it’s important to be focused during a meeting, but it’s also essential to get involved.
4. Prepare yourself mentally and physically
Do you need to attend a meeting? Make sure you are in good shape to do it! Be rested and have a full stomach. If you’re hungry, have a snack before you go to your meeting. Otherwise, bring a snack with you. With a full stomach, (but not too much) your ability to stay focused will be maximized. This will prevent you from making unpleasant stomach noises.
5. Record your meeting
Even if you do everything possible to be sufficiently focused, it may not be enough. If you have difficulty paying attention, audio recording can be very helpful. This Beenote feature allows you to listen to a specific part (or all) of your meeting, at a moment your concentration is better. This will prevent you from missing important information.
These few tips are simple to integrate into your daily life and will certainly help you maximize your ability to stay focused.
And you, what allows you to stay focused during a meeting?
Melanie is the Marketing Director at Comnet Technologie who handles design, content, user experience, and all marketing for Beenote. Melanie helps individuals, teams, and organizations to adopt good meeting practices.