Sometimes in life we can see the trainwreck unfolding in front of our very own eyes, while at other times, even the most astute individuals just don’t see it coming.
Meetings can be similar, in that there may seem like a solid reason to pencil this meeting into your calendar and it even may come complete with an agenda. But, in actuality it’s just a ticking time bomb waiting to sap precious time from your schedule.
So, say you’re in a meeting and you’ve just had the sudden realization this is a complete waste of time. You try and be mature, and reason with the meeting owner, attempting to put the discussions back on course but are unsuccessful. Now the question becomes what do you do? Do you take one for the team and suffer along with everyone else? Do you sit through an entire meeting playing your game of the month on your phone? What about pretending to take notes on your computer, all the while just catching up on emails? (Someone might see your screen!)
Seems like at this point the best strategy is to try and escape with your dignity, salvaging the surplus time in the calendar. The only question remains, how do you go about doing it?
Four ways to escape a useless meeting with your dignity!
- Call in a wingman. This tactic depends on the size of the company but one approach is to text a friend to come get you feigning some urgent issue that needs your immediate attention. But don’t overuse this scheme or it will become transparent.
- The Fake Call. There are plenty of free fake call apps on the market that can be programmed to call you at a specific time complete with a fake name. This approach works best if you let the phone ring a few times seemingly pondering the importance of the call, only to then make a semi-frown face, sheepishly excusing yourself from the meeting because this call simply can’t wait.
- The chronic cough or sneeze. This approach is a little gross because honestly, who wants to fake a sneeze into their hands and get up and then touch the doorknob to leave a room. Also, there is always the chance someone will offer you a tissue. So coughing is probably the better of the two options. Don’t overdo it as you don’t want to ruin your vocal cords.
- If you are desperate, spill something on yourself, preferably water, but coffee works too! “I’m just going to step outside for a minute and clean myself off. Then, take your sweet time getting back to the meeting .
There’s no need to suffer in unproductive meetings. With the right approach you can take back the time and spend it doing something productive, like getting coffee with friends!