What Are You Bringing to the Meeting?
Ice-breaking; introductions; check-in. Everyone will be able to understand better what the others are dealing with outside/before the meeting. Each will also be able to let go of distractions from their own lives during the meeting/project.
Be in circle or otherwise arranged so each person can see each other. Ask people to take a few moments to "check-in" with themselves: How is their energy? What have they been involved with that day? What is on their mind that is unrelated to this meeting/task? Leave option the option to pass - but encourage people to tell at least one thing. Explain that the purpose is not to delve into personal affairs or reveal secrets.
Each person tells briefly "where they are at" as they came into the meeting. E.g., "I slept late today and am just waking up now. I have been dealing with my child's being sick, and." "I've been packing for a trip and my head is full of details I have to get ready." "I'm really eager to catch up with you all - I've been isolated with my computer." Thank people for sharing. Ask them to try to let go of their outside situations and thoughts for the duration of this meeting. Invite them to talk further later if they need support from other team members.
At the end of the meeting/ project or when planning the next one, ask people whether that introductory activity was helpful and whether the group would like to do it before each meeting.