Meetings are one of the necessary evils for any company that wants to keep everyone aware of what’s going with projects and other issues. They are often a bit boring unfortunately. Many managers have tried all sorts of games and other tactics to keep staff focused at meetings. The task usually gets even harder the closer it gets to holidays and vacation seasons. Employees and managers alike are daydreaming of relaxing. However, there are tricks to staying focused, and it may not be what you would usually expect.
If you have been paying any attention to popular children’s toys or social media, you will have seen the fidget spinner. The fidget spinner was originally designed to help kids focus, but adults have also found that it is effective for their attention spans. While at first glance, this gadget may seem like a serious distraction, researchers have learned that they often keep our hands busy, which helps our minds stay focused on the task at hand.
With this in mind, there are many other things that we as managers may interpret as a sign of being distracted that are actually beneficial to the attention span. Doodling, for instance, is something many are prone to doing halfway through meetings.
If you think about it, the temptation to do it is great considering there are writing materials and paper everywhere. Long before the fidget spinner hit the market, this simple activity has been helping employees everywhere engage their creativity for small moments while they are in meetings. Most often, doodling does not take a substantial amount of attention from the drawers. Rather, it allows the person to momentarily rest their minds on something else, which can be beneficial during a long work day.
You can encourage this practice by setting out plenty of notebooks and pens for everyone to use at meetings. Of course, the goal is to encourage them to take notes on what is being presented during the meeting. But try not to take offense if somewhere along the way you witness someone doodling.
Experts have asserted that those small pictures help people to remember the information being presented to them. If you are throwing a conference, this is also the perfect time to hand out branded notebooks and pens, so that they will remember your company.
The other benefit to drawing it that it influences creativity. No matter what product or service your company sells, creative employees are a godsend. These people are the problem solvers of your company, the ones who will think outside the box and find more effective ways to accomplish common goals.
Do not stifle this exercise, but rather embrace it and encourage it. Unlike the fidget spinner, which may actually detain them from making necessary notes at some point, drawing is a discreet way to allow your employees to detach themselves for a moment and invest in their own creative skill sets. If you are still wary of how effective this tactic may be, try doing it yourself at a meeting you are not the head of.
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