I'm having a lot of practice with meetings lately. Several each week at the moment, it seems.
I'm not a natural. I struggle to focus my whole mind on the topic at hand (mostly, my whole mind isn't needed). I struggle not to think dark thoughts about people who speak for too long. I struggle with the hard chairs we have to sit on.
But I have developed some coping strategies. Some small things that can be done to turn a dull meeting into an opportunity to hone skills in concentration, multi-tasking, and to actually get things done.
Read and learn.
1. Take your laptop and mobile internet. You can't count on there being fast wireless internet available and you'll need it.
2. Have a skype friend in the meeting. Skype them about strategies to speed up the meeting. Work together. Write good motions. Push them through.
3. Have a concurrent skype meeting with someone else not in the room. Try to achieve something in this time. Tonight I'm going to be thinking about marketing an event.
4. Really care about one thing on the agenda. Use the dead times in your meeting to research this item carefully and come up with a good plan for what needs to be done. Work out how you can speak to the item as convincingly as possible, using as few words as possible. Others will thank you for this.
5. Once your item is done and your skype buddies have given up on you, write an alto part for tomorrow's choir song or draw pictures of everyone in the room.