Credit: TV Acres

If you haven’t picked up on it yet, conferences calls are not my favorite. Certainly, I understand why speaking with a client on the phone is an important part of the client/freelancer relationship. However, most of my clients live in different time zones and that can make “connecting” on the phone difficult.

Also, I find that most of my conference calls have nothing to do with me. I do the writing but you want me on a call with accounting? Okay. Sounds great, bro.

To pass the time during boring conference calls, I’ve devised a full-proof distraction system. Here are 10 things I do to pass the time:

  • Fold a load of laundry.
  • Do simple exercises like calf raises or leg lifts.
  • Walk around the block, away from the loud bar you were at when the client called.
  • Prepare an elaborate four course meal for the 10 friends in your kitchen who are confused about why, exactly, you’re on a call at 8:30 on a Saturday night, anyway.
  • Play a complicated game of freeze dance where you mute the microphone and listen to Queen’s greatest hits until the client asks you a direct question.
  • Stare into space, contemplating the fleeting nature of life itself.
  • Make a grocery list and meal plan, take yourself to the grocery store, complete your weekly shopping and go home. Bonus idea! Put away all the groceries.
  • Look at houses you can’t afford on Zillow. Mentally decorate it and imagine calling your new estate “The House that This Conference Call Built.”
  • Play a rousing game of “count the buzzwords” with whoever is around at the time. My favorite is “let’s loop so-and-so in on this.”
  • Ice skate, preferably at an outdoor rink that is blaring Michael Jackson music.

How do you pass the time on a conference call?