How to Survive a Useless Meeting:Part I

How to accomplish something in a meeting that sucks your energy and is a complete waste of your valuable time!


We have all been there. We only need to be there to share our brief part, if at all. Yet we have to listen to people talk around and around in circles, as we feel our neurons shrinking along with our IQ. We get annoyed thinking about things we could be accomplishing, how much more sleep we could have gotten, why we are working in that setting to begin with… This sets the tone for a depressed mood and frustration.  Realizing our mood state and how it negatively impacts our health then causes more frustration and anger.

Breathe the right way: One thing to do is tune out what information you don’t need by focusing on your breath.  Take deep breaths in and out through your belly, and breathe in and out through your nose. Think of it like filling up a balloon while putting air into your belly, rather than short shallow chest breathing. Nobody will know you are doing this unless you exhale loudly through your mouth. So don’t do that. If you have to pay attention then just breathe and listen. At least your body will be calmer. You might also notice being able to attend better. For instructions on taking deep belly breaths, the way we all should be breathing, see my article on meditation.

Dissociate/tune out: If you can, fantasize about good and happy things. Think about a nature scene or something found in nature that makes you serene and happy.  When distracted or aggravated say to yourself “I can’t fix stupid.” Then refocus on what you can control, yourself.

Electronic distractions:   If you are able to, you can play with your cell phone, but most meetings don’t allow that. If you have any tension or pain you can easily conceal a tens unit (it is a unit that stimulates muscles causing them to relax and you to as well).  I did this a few times in a meeting like I am describing and was very calm. I focused on my breathing and relaxing my tense muscles.  It is easy to conceal, but in long meetings you might want to move the pads to another area. What are they going to say, no you can’t have that medical device in here?  If they want legal trouble they might J

Manifest what you want: You might be able to write things down that people can’t see.  If so write about things you want in your life. Think of it as a manifestation list. This helps you focus on something important. It is a good way to spend your energy, and you will be accomplishing something you normally wouldn’t take the time to do.  Every so often make a comment or offer a suggestion to let people think you actually care. Then refocus.  Write a bucket list or a gratitude list, things you say you don’t have time for.

Write:  You can also use that time to write out lists of things to do, such as grocery shopping, what outfits you’ll wear, and what errands and work related tasks you need to do etc.  You might even write poems, if you are the creative type. This is also a great time to write out things you will blog about. Blogs take time, so why not use your precious valuable time that is being wasted by something that you get nothing out of to write an article for your blog. Go to your computer later and in five minutes it is ready to be posted.

Hopefully this article has sparked some creative ideas of your own. So try some of these things out and see how much better your day will go, and how you can best use your precious time.



Dr. Umfer is a licensed clinical psychologist and forensic psychologist in Tampa Florida. She specializes in weight loss and forensic evaluations, such as sex offender risk assessments, psychological evaluations for substance abuse, competency, fitness for duty, immigration etc. She has certifications in fitness and nutrition, clinical hypnotherapy and as a meditation instructor. She identifies herself as a Forensic Evaluator and Weight Liberator and strives to help clients become "Umferized" aka empowered and fulfilled.

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