10 Productive Things to Do On The Sly In A Meeting

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From OPEN Forum: Bored on a conference call or in a meeting? Here are 10 tips for keeping your sanity and boosting your productivity.

  1. Start a Company. The founder of an online benefits firm wrote her business plan “while at boring meetings.” The company now employs more than 30 people.” (Wonder what those employees work on during her business meetings!)
  2. Launch That Hollywood/Literary Career. An editor-in-chief “cranked out a feature film treatment,” and a production assistant wrote “a short story on my notepad.”
  3. Clean Address-Book House. “In conferences and when the focus isn’t [on me], I will go through my cell phone and delete obsolete numbers and text messages.  I feel so organised and ready to take on the day post conference,” says a small business owner.
  4. Make Travel Arrangements. Ah, the Internet. Whether on his laptop or on his PDA, a tech consultant often book flights and hotels when meeting with bigwigs.
  5. Get A New Gig. “During a Monday status meeting with one company I took a pending job offer with another and drafted my two weeks notice letter,” said a product designer.
  6. Get Homework Done. Those working by day and going to school by night have some crossover. “In meetings or conferences, I use my PDA to read the news or outline papers for homework,” said an employee at a financial institution. Training sessions are particularly good for getting side stuff done because they typically involve the computer.
  7. Plan For The Next Meeting. With all those meeting to attend, when is there time to plan? During! “I always prepare ahead of time for the first one, then work on my outline for the next meeting during that meeting,” says a graphic designer. “It’s like middle school, when you work on your maths homework during English.”
  8. Budget. While meeting with developers to discuss the budget for a new building, an architect reveals he often finds the time to do his personal monthly budget.
  9. That To-Do List. “Grocery lists, catching up on People magazine, and ordering shoes from Neiman Marcus” were what two top editors admitted to ticking off their list during big meetings.
  10. Get Your Actual Work Done. When on a conference call, the director of programming at a major non-profit “put the phone on mute so I can tune out while doing other the work I am paid to do.”


Note: this article was previously published on The OPEN Forum. Read more. >

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