1. The right time
Morning is best for things like status updates and logical thinking, when sharpness and enthusiasm are at their height, while closer to the end of the day is a really good time for brainstorming. And of course, never do meetings in the period right after lunch.
Ensuring a meeting has a clearly stated end time is more important. We often fall asleep in meetings out of boredom, not tiredness.
2. The right place
Meeting in unconventional locations can help boost creativity. Standing meetings - where participants talk without sitting down - have also been praised by many efficiency experts for keeping things efficient.
3. Be prepared
One recent study found American workers felt just 33% of leaders were well-prepared for meetings. Ensuring a clear agenda is a common piece of advice from productivity gurus.
An agenda was essential, because if you don't know why we're in the meeting, then there's no reason for a meeting.
One of the ways that people stay awake is that they're in a meeting that's interesting to them and relevant to their work.
4. To snack or not to snack?
The right kind of snacks can help improve meeting culture. Snacks can keep people alert, for one thing, but are also a "symbol of caring". Of course, avoiding loud or smelly snacks is important.
Putting it simply - you can't fall asleep if you're participating. Speak up during the first three minutes, it allows you to feel like a contributor not a listener. Taking notes can also be helpful in keeping your brain alert.
For leaders, make sure to adhere to the agenda and only the agenda, tacking on other business is when the bores kick off.
6. Fidget away
When all else fails, keeping your hands busy can help. Doodling is another longstanding go-to for bored meeting goers, but it can make you even more drowsy. Sometimes, it may just take a pinch on your own arm instead.
And if you do happen to nod off?
If you succumb to sleep, it may be best to leave. Make a swift excuse that doesn't sound attacking, and get up quietly, apologize and leave.