Practically every employee has been there – you’re sitting in a long meeting with your coworkers and you can feel your productivity levels starting to slip. While many meetings are not only important but essential for collaboration and for addressing key business tasks, some long meetings can start to feel repetitive or even like a waste of time for certain workers. Since in business settings, staying productive is key to producing a high-quality product efficiently and on time, you may want to review these tips for keeping as productive as possible even when meetings start to drag on.

Start With a Highly Organized Schedule and Don’t Go Over Time

When it comes to setting meeting schedules, it’s important to make sure that only relevant issues are discussed and that there’s a set time frame that will be respected. Part of employees’ frustration stems from meetings that veer off topic or that go over time. If you’re the boss, make sure you come in prepared with a highly organized schedule. If you’re an employee and you notice the meeting getting off track, speak up and suggest the group move on to the next item.

Try Scheduling Small Breaks Throughout To Help Employees Stay Refreshed

Even the most dedicated employees can get burned out in meetings that simply drag on with no breaks. If you know ahead of time that a certain meeting is going to be a long one, make sure to schedule small breaks throughout to give everyone a chance to get up, stretch their legs, grab a snack and drink some water or hit the bathroom. You might be surprised how sharp and refreshed everyone is after the break!

Get Everyone Present To Participate

One of the biggest reasons why some employees feel meetings waste their time is because big, company-wide meetings in particular might not require active participation from everyone. As a consequence, those who are not actively speaking or otherwise participating in the business of the meeting might feel that they would be more productive back at their desks. Fortunately, this is a simple issue to address. Bosses should only ask those essential to the meeting agenda to attend, and everyone who is present at the meeting should be actively involved. Speaking up during the meeting, adding your own items to the agenda or otherwise sharing your thoughts can help to make everyone’s opinions heard and to keep everyone on task.

Staying productive during particularly long meetings can be a challenge for even the most dedicated employees and bosses. By following these tips, you can keep your meetings on task and boost office productivity levels.