With somewhere in the neighborhood of 2 trillion minutes spent on Zoom calls during the past year, it’s no surprise that many people are becoming burned out and fatigued from all those video calls. While Zoom provides an essential tool for “face-to-face” connection, too much time on video calls is causing what’s been coined as “Zoom Fatigue.” Here are three ways to combat Zoom fatigue to prevent burnout.
Set “No Meetings” Blocks On Your Calendar
While this works best if you make your calendar public to your team, you can schedule blocks of “meeting-free time.” This allows you to have dedicated heads-down time to work on projects uninterrupted. It also means you won’t have to scramble to prepare for a meeting on the fly when you get the “dreaded” “Can we jump on a video call” email. You’ll also then be more focused and prepared when your scheduled meetings do occur.
Another way to approach this Zoom reduction method is to plan half of your day for meetings and the other half for deep work. This way, you and your team can stay connected throughout the day without becoming an interruption. By designating this mix of activities, deep work, and meetings, you’ll keep yourself from burning out on one task.
Say “No” to Video Meetings that Can be Done on the Phone
The new “this could have been an email” is now “this could have been a phone call.” Normalize simply making a meeting over the phone instead of a Zoom call. Not every meeting needs to be done over video conferencing.
You can also use other collaboration tools to replace some meetings like Slack, Microsoft Teams, the G-suite, and others. Making the most of other collaboration technologies can help reduce the number of Zoom meetings you’ll have during the day or week.
Schedule Breaks Away from Work
We weren’t meant to work for hours on end without taking breaks. However, working remotely has put pressure on many to be “always-on,” so people are taking fewer breaks away from work than ever before. It’s crucial to schedule breaks where you can be away from your computer or workspace for a few minutes. Consider taking a walk during a lunch hour, running a quick errand, doing a work-out or meditation, or spend a few moments reading a book you enjoy. Taking the time to be away from work will help reset and refocus your mind so you can come back fresh and focused. You’ll find you will probably be more productive after a break than you would be if you continue working straight through the day.
Zoom fatigue is real and becoming more prevalent. It’s time to take back control of your mental wellness by combating it through setting blocks of no meetings on your calendar, moving more video calls to the phone, and scheduling more breaks during the day.
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