Ask LH: How Can I Make Sitting Through Meetings Less Boring?

Ask LH: How Can I Make Sitting Through Meetings Less Boring?

Dear Lifehacker, I have to sit through meetings every day. Some of them last for hours. They are boring. They are unnecessary. They are mandatory. By the time I’m done I’ve lost my will to work. What can I do to keep myself from dying a slow death at a conference table? Sincerely, Mundane Meeting Monkey

Photo by Bill Ward.

Dear MMM,

Getting stuck in regular meetings where you’re expected to listen for hours is like being back in high school in a class you hate — only it’s often longer. I used to work a job plagued with many long meetings, but a few things helped me make the situation better. Perhaps they’ll work for you, too.

Find Ways to Speak

Photo by Alabama Social Media Association.

Draw (or Doodle)

it can actually help you focus

Photo by Niels Heidenreich.

Talk to Your Boss or Manager to Change the Way Meetings Work


The Scrum meeting rules, which are popular among development teams, are often a good place to start. Meetings are always short (generally 15 minutes) and always start on time. If you’re late, too bad. Most of the time, only the core members of the team speak and everything has to be dealt with in the timeframe. This forces people to speak quickly and get their points across concisely. It leaves more time to work. While the exact rules won’t always fit every team, slight modifications can make them work for most organisations. Whether you use Scrum as a model or not, coming up with a plan to effectively reduce meeting times is generally something everyone can get behind. Try to work with your boss/manager to do that, and chances are you won’t have to worry about being bored at all.

Photo by Andrew Abogado.


P.S. Readers, if you’ve got any tips on how you like to stave off boredom during dull meetings, share your ideas in the comments!

Got your own question you want to put to Lifehacker? Send it using our contact tab on the right.


Log in to comment on this story!