\"\"
Piano Forum logo

Stay productive during dull meetings/presentations? (Read 1055 times)

Offline Bob

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 15879
Stay productive during dull meetings/presentations?
« on: July 08, 2013, 10:47:02 PM »
Looking for ideas.

I have some stuff I need to be present for, sit through.... Not really participate or do much but sit there and listen.  Or not listen.  Either way.

What can I do to stay productive on my own while still appearing to be an audience member?

Sleeping isn't an option.

Finger tapping is only sometimes possible.  I could run patterns on my fingers.

The mind is free.  That's what I'm thinking.  I can just sit there and think about music things.

Patterns seems workable.  Possible to keep track of.  Plenty of room for future thinking.  I've tried it a few times.  I can spend a few hours thinking through chord progressions.... 

What else?
Favorite new teacher quote -- "You found the only possible wrong answer."

Offline oxy60

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1480
Re: Stay productive during dull meetings/presentations?
«Reply #1 on: July 08, 2013, 11:55:17 PM »
You could as an alternative become part of the audience and actually try to glean something from the presentation. Why is it necessary to distract yourself or do something else? Is there an ADD problem?

I receive 1000 page documents as preparation for meetings on a regular basis. All you need to do is sit there and soak it up. How hard can that be?
"In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks."  John Muir  (We all need to get out more.)

Offline ted

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3713
Re: Stay productive during dull meetings/presentations?
«Reply #2 on: July 09, 2013, 12:45:17 AM »
Surely one of two states must be true. Either you know less than the presenters, in which case a duty exists to learn, or you know more and there is a duty to contribute. Even if the subject matter itself was of no interest to me I always used to try either way because I felt it discourteous to the lecturer to do otherwise. I suppose an analogous situation applies to a musical performance one does not particularly care for. Somebody has probably put enormous effort into it and my personal taste must not detectably override this fact.
"We're all bums when the wagon comes." - Waller

Offline Bob

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 15879
Re: Stay productive during dull meetings/presentations?
«Reply #3 on: July 09, 2013, 02:32:39 AM »
The presentation is irrelevant.  Completely irrelevant.  But I still have to physically be there.  The presenter is in part me, but I don't have to do anything.  Anything I do need to do I can do mindlessly really.

This is something that's stretching on days.  It's not a one-time thing.  It's ongoing. 


This is putting me a little more before the group.  Selfish maybe.  Maybe not.  I've given them enough.  I need something back.  But I'm trapped with this reoccurring situation.  I need to get something more out of it for me instead of wasting my time or giving away my time/effort/energy to them.
Favorite new teacher quote -- "You found the only possible wrong answer."

Offline oxy60

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1480
Re: Stay productive during dull meetings/presentations?
«Reply #4 on: July 09, 2013, 03:49:49 PM »
But, this is life. There is always a give and take. The scale will tip back to you. By zoning out you miss finding the point of how to tip it back.

Or sadly, you're in the wrong job.
"In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks."  John Muir  (We all need to get out more.)

Offline Bob

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 15879
Re: Stay productive during dull meetings/presentations?
«Reply #5 on: July 09, 2013, 11:25:21 PM »
True.

I've given.  I want some more take. 

Just ignore the session/presentation part.  That situation is a little manufactured for this post.   What things can you work on mentally or imperceptibly (like finger patterns without moving the fingers) while appearing half-present in a situation?
Favorite new teacher quote -- "You found the only possible wrong answer."

Offline outin

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 8110
Re: Stay productive during dull meetings/presentations?
«Reply #6 on: July 10, 2013, 05:55:57 AM »
I always have a lot of papers (memos, raports etc.) with me in situations like this, so I read them. It's not too indiscreet to the one talking since the papers might as well be about the presentation...
I usually listen a bit with half ear, but I still find it quite productive. There's always a lot of stuff to catch up that I cannot find the time to do elsewhere.

I have tried to do "mind play" sometimes when I am really bored but I find I cannot concentrate well enough when someone is talking  >:(

Offline j_menz

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 10150
Re: Stay productive during dull meetings/presentations?
«Reply #7 on: July 10, 2013, 06:52:02 AM »
 What things can you work on mentally or imperceptibly (like finger patterns without moving the fingers) while appearing half-present in a situation?

Learning to nap with your eyes open?
"What the world needs is more geniuses with humility. There are so few of us left" -- Oscar Levant

Offline Bob

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 15879
Re: Stay productive during dull meetings/presentations?
«Reply #8 on: July 12, 2013, 01:16:41 AM »
Those work.  Any more?

I'm liking chord progressions.  It's very invisible.  Today someone was telling a dull story to a small group of people. Instead of listening, I started running through chord progressions in my mind.

Lift the eyebrows, smile/laugh/nod.  Furrow the brow a bit, look up and nod for sec...  Those help.  For those stories that you know the ending to after the first sentence it works well.


Breathing exercises or focusing on the breath works too.  If there's a clock around it's something to look at to time breathing.  Zone out, half there/half asleep.  Time passes.
Favorite new teacher quote -- "You found the only possible wrong answer."