Question: Our work team has these long in-person conference meetings and I can’t seem to stay awake.
Sometimes, the appearance of being awake is enough, in which case Salvador Dali has some interesting gadgets to prop open your melting eyelids.
The sad truth is nothing works. You’ll fall asleep, everyone else will, too, and 100 years later a handsome prince will cut his way through the briers and wake everyone up with a magic kiss, aka “the IPO”. In the meantime, here are some stopgap measures that sometimes work:
- Use Taoist or Yogic breathing to achieve a liminal state between sleeping and waking, where you’re still able to pick out key words that indicate that your pet topic is coming up for discussion.
- Pinch people under the table and make it seem like it’s the guy sitting next to you that did it.
- Send a store mannequin dressed in your clothing as a proxy and just accept that whatever information you were hoping for won’t really be worth all that much in the end.
- If you really can’t stand another second and want to abort the meeting quickly, release a live tarantula on the conference room table.
I think a lack of leadership during the meeting is a problem. Purposeful meetings should not be boring. IMHO, the project manager who’s leading the meeting should already have a good sense of what is going on before the meeting begins, and they can cut right to the chase with urgent matters as soon as the meeting starts.