How to stay awake in a meeting

I love food.  When I go out to lunch, it saves me money, because my kids aren’t there to order the surf & turf (and leave half of it on the plate).  When that plate arrives, I forget about the whole world.  It is just me, and my lunch.

Once I get back to the office, I then realize that I have a two-hour meeting.  Afternoon meetings are usually scheduled during the time that my food will hit my blood stream. Somehow, meetings never seem as interesting and exciting as jamming-out with VStudio or a DB or something.  During the meeting, someone else will talk and I have zero opportunities to get up and “walk it off”.  I probably won’t even be allowed to write on a white board or mull around while others take their turn at the whiteboard.  Totally brutal.

It will inevitably turn into another battle of me (and my lunch) vs the Zzz monster.

Dear friends and colleagues, I have developed a strategy that gives me the upper hand against said Zzz monster, and it is even good for your health.

  • Step 1 – put your hands on the desk where people can see them (I will explain in a few seconds).
  • Step 2 – discretely check for leg-room, so you don’t accidentally kick any of your colleagues under the table.
  • Step 3 – do isometric leg flexes, one leg at a time.  Focus on the 2nd biggest muscle-groups on your body: your thighs.  Slowly flex the left.  Hold it for 10 seconds and slowly relax it. Then right.  Rest 10 seconds and repeat as necessary.

The concept is two-fold.  The muscle contractions will squeeze blood out of your legs and into the rest of your body.  Also, the exercise will increase your heart rate and begin to lower your blood sugar slightly.

Some important things to remember when doing this:

  1. Keep your hands where others can see them
  2. Rest between sets.  Otherwise, your breathing rate will begin to increase.  You do-not want people to notice that you are beginning to breathe heavily during a meeting.  (hence step 1)
  3. Slowly flex and relax so you don’t start swaying in your chair
  4. Don’t kick others, the table, etc.

The goal is to keep yourself wide-awake, without disturbing others or gaining a sketchy reputation.  🙂

Have a nice meeting.  Don’t forget to take notes.


About Tim Golisch

I'm a geek. I do geeky things.
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