We have all been at conferences, workshops and meetings where we have caught ourselves falling asleep. Bad career move, nodding off in front of the boss or someone from Human Resources! If it’s something you struggle with you can use these techniques to stay awake and dazzle everybody with your alertness and participation:
- Take notes. You are at the meeting or conference for a reason so the information should have value, right? Focus and write down nuggets of useful information often hidden in the middle of long Power point presentations (sometimes even in the dark, I mean, have some mercy). Next to these key points add little notes to self about how to use this wisdom when you are back at your desk.
- Stay hydrated. Drink a lot of water. Keep knocking it back and if necessary bring in your own bottled water. Dehydration negatively affects alertness and concentration and promotes tiredness. Not only is water good for you generally but it is also just what your body needs to wake you up if you had an extra glass of wine with dinner last night.
- Do some exercises while sitting down. If the agenda doesn’t have frequent comfort breaks, then slip out and take a short walk till you feel revitalised. Sitting down is also a good time to practise your blood flow enhancing foot exercises. Lift your heels keeping your toes on the ground. Keep your calve muscles tightened for 30 seconds and release, Repeat as many times as possible. The same can be done to build that six pack you always wanted. Pull in your tummy muscles for a minute, release and repeat.
- Watch what you eat during the event. Those bowls of sweeties are not your friends! Neither are the sweet pastries served during refreshment breaks. Sugar and simple carbohydrates cause several responses in the body which result in brain fog and sleepiness. To help you resist them when hunger strikes, come prepared with small pieces of fruit or cheese, or a bag of nuts. Nibbling on these will boost your blood sugar and alertness.
- Participate. Ask relevant questions. Make eye contact with the presenter. Use the occasion to show how committed you are to the concept. Shine.
- Doodle patterns on your notepad. Or a picture of the presenter. Drawing helps you to listen.
- Chew gum. You can’t yawn or fall asleep if you are chewing because the action increases blood flow to the head and brain. It may not be acceptable within your company’s culture though, so check it out first.
- Supplement. Try something under cover such as Turbovite® mind and body boosters to give you the edge. These one-a-day capsules, effervescent sachets or quick fix syrups are formulated with B-vitamins, Gingko Biloba, Ginseng, Vitamin C, fructose and caffeine. In combination these active ingredients support daily supplementation for physical energy, mental alertness and concentration.
Bottom line for long meetings: being an attentive contributor when all around you are flagging is bound to help you in your push for greatness.