So there you are in yet another ZOOM meeting, you look up and realize you are exhausted, it’s only 10 am!
Ever had one of those days? Weeks? Months?
How is it that it is only the first week of February and everyone feels like walking Zombies?
Have you noticed colleagues look more tired than normal?
Virtual Exhaustion is real.
Zoom fatigue is everywhere.
Meeting madness is awful.
Email overwhelm is serious.
I am sorry this is happening to you. It sucks. And needs to change, so where do we start?
Every audience I have served in the past two weeks, and every executive I am coaching right now, has shared some version of what I call ‘Virtual Exhaustion’.
Stanford researchers shared a great article on the four causes of Zoom fatigue and how to solve them – read it here:
We are tired of being on camera.
We are tired of the same old thing day in day out.
We are tired of full inboxes.
We are tired of running from one meeting to the next (maybe not literally.
We are tired of eating lunch in front of our computer between (or on) calls.
We are tired of people constantly double-booking our calendar.
We are tired of not getting to the bottom of our email inbox.
We are tired of doing everything from online shopping, online schooling, even online catchups with friends.
We are just tired. Over it. Over it all. I see you. I get it.
This has to change.
We will be in quarantine for many more months.
As leaders in our organizations, we have to LEAD the changes and role model new behaviors.
Here are a few strategies to try:
- Change some Zoom calls to phone calls. Give people a break.
- Reduce meeting times: 30 mins to 20 mins, or 40 minutes instead of 60 minutes!
- Stop inviting everyone, only invite those who influence the decision.
- Create meeting guidelines with your team i.e. no meetings on Friday after 3 pm or keep Monday morning free of meetings.
- Allocate timekeepers to every meeting to avoid going overtime.
- Schedule meetings at weird times i.e. 1.10 pm to give people time to get off one call and get on the next one.
- Schedule ‘No Talk’ Days where you don’t have any meetings (I know, this one is hard)
- Write emails and save them in your drafts and send them during business hours.
- Encourage the team to have screen-free time.
- Pick up the phone to chat instead of sending an email or requesting another meeting
- Give yourself a break. Step away from your computer.
- Stop sending emails after hours! It’s stealing minutes from people’s families. Please, just stop it.
I write more about meetings, email, and focus strategies in Attention Pays, if you haven’t already read it, you might really enjoy it.
Looking for more ideas to stay focused this year, enjoy this article, maybe share it with your team: Be More Focused and Productive in 2021
What are you doing to fight Virtual Exhaustion for you and your team?