Like most of the workforce you probably lament the lengthy mid-day meetings that could have been accomplished with a concise e-mail.

However, these meetings are going to continue throughout your professional life because somewhere someone just needs to hear things out loud, around a table, perhaps eating their lunch before they can process things (don’t be harsh on them either, because you’ll likely be this person at one point or another).  So, here are our tips for being productive with your meetings (or at least faking to make a good enough impression until you make it).


  1. Be wary of the digital meeting. If you’re going to carve time out of your day, sit down with someone. When you’ve got a handful of different people with the distractions of their own computer screens your time would better be spent herding cats. It is impossible to monitor who is actively engaged and how much is being gleaned from the shared material, so better stick to what is safe. Physical meetings at least apply pressure for everyone to be engages.
  2. If you have to meet digitally, disable your distractions. Put your phone down and disable your web browser. Actively engage with presenters and colleagues. If you’re in person, do the same. Utilize technology to share work and take efficient notes, but don’t let yourself get distracted by enchanting lure of Candy Crush.
  3. Take notes. It might seem redundant that you’re taking notes for a project you’re likely working on, but they’ll serve as a nice resource to review when you’re wondering where your coworkers are at with their work or understanding of the scope of your project.
  4. Suggest and/or prepare agendas. Even if you approach the meeting with three standing items, it is helpful to have things formalized so that everyone has the same objectives for the time that you’re spending together. Be sure to include question and answer segments and stretch breaks. Even if you’ve only got an hour, things will definitely fall at least 5 minutes off track.
  5. Bring provisions. If you’re hitting your midday slump, bring coffee. Everyone will likely be in the same boat, so nobody will be bothered by your need to recharge.
  6. Actively participate. Offer feedback and look for opportunities to engage. If you are spending your time in meetings you may as well try to glean as much from the setting as possible.