Preventing Post-Lunch PowerPoint Paralysis

You’ve had a reasonably good lunch, as meeting lunches go, and now the afternoon is here and it’s time for the first meeting. Uh oh! There’s a PowerPoint! And it’s going to be addressing a topic that isn’t intrinsically thrilling, if you know what I mean.

Already, you can feel your eyelids growing heavy. What to do to prevent a trip to the Land of Nod during the next 60 minutes — which right about now seems like an impossibly long time to hold on? How to avoid the humiliation of a telltale head jerk and doze-off snort? Pinch yourself repeatedly? Stab your hand with a pen?

Any activity seems to help — even taking constant sips from a bottle of water. And when you reach the end of the bottle, on top of what you quaffed at lunch, you may find that other concerns have outstripped the fear of falling asleep. You’ll fidget, to be sure, but at least your head won’t hit the table.

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