While it is true that business meetings are important for the company's success and help keep everyone on track and in perspective, some participants of these meetings tend to drag it out longer then it really has to be. This causes loss of precious time and that finally costs you a lot of nerves.

Below are some of the tried and tested ways of keeping your sanity and avoiding falling asleep during the sort of meeting you wouldn't wish your worst enemy.

  • Imagine the Chairman or Chairwoman with no clothes.
  • Make travel arrangements.
  • Start a lottery for the time the meeting will finish.
  • Plan out your to-do list for the next work day.
  • Write a love poem.
  • Bring small portable entertainment – Blackberry, iPhone or a notebook.
  • Write a shopping list for the six months.
  • Make sure you sit near the exit because it will be much easier to get up and go to the bathroom.
  • It there's free drink and food, bring containers.
  • Catch up on all your correspondence – remember to look up occasionally.
  • Photocopy the next 50 pages of the novel you are reading and put them between the pages of a report.
  • Make sure you sit near the back since it is much easier to be not noticed and it's much easier to take a nap or play with something.
  • Fantasize about what absent members are doing.
  • Philosophize as follows: Am I really sitting here in this boring meeting? Is this all there is to existence?
  • Draw caricatures of the colleagues you really hate.
  • Note one of the favorite phrases of the Chairman/Chairwoman or any other verbose presenter and count just how many times he/she uses particular phrase.
  • Play games such as 'Bullshit Bingo.'
  • Pick the vogue word such as "transparent" and count how many times it comes up.
  • Send a note to a colleague who came late saying, "Pity you weren't here to defend yourself."
  • Ask one (or even all) of these questions:

  1. But is this really relevant?
  2. Do you have a thing about ruining new stuff by personalizing?
  3. But isn't this only the tip of the iceberg?
  4. May I play the devil's advocate for a moment?
  5. Could we adjourn the meeting for a few minutes?
  6. What's that noise?
  7. What's for dinner?
  8. Who won?

Anyhow, do not do any of these things in case you're a speaker at the business meeting and have to sit somewhere near the front. In case you're really interested in the topic presented then the probably the best option at these business meeting is to listen carefully. On the other hand, in case you're an engineer and they're commending the salesmen repeatedly and reading off the sales figures by every region in the country, then it really gets very boring.

And what else are you supposed to do during boring meetings?