It's no secret: Zoom has become a regular player in our lives. This newer, popular way to communicate "face-to-face" has been used in a variety of ways, whether it's for a work meeting, virtual happy hour with friends, or otherwise. But as exciting as it is to see other people in a time where we have needed to literally keep to ourselves, Zoom can be exhausting and taxing in a way that's unfamiliar to many.
According to Harvard Business Review, there are steps you can take to combat Zoom fatigue.
Even though you may think you're getting ahead of the game by doing other things while on a Zoom call, it turns out your productivity takes a nosedive. Stanford researchers found multitaskers can't remember things as well as their more singularly focused peers. So close those tabs, put your phone on silent, give the dog his favorite chew toy, and focus only on the task at hand.
Breaks are needed.
Try not to schedule Zoom meetings back to back to back. Allowing for breaks gives your brain a chance to refresh and catch up. If back-to-back meetings can't be avoided, simply build in five 10 minutes to grab a glass of water, take a walk in another room, et cetera.
Hide yourself from view every now and then.
Turns out, we all really like looking at ourselves. Try hiding your screen to help focus on others on the call. Be mindful of what you're looking at and how your mind might drift—whether it's trying to see what someone is watching on TV in the background or what their cat is doing on the window sill nearby. Once aware of these distractions, intentionally refocus.
There's no shame in phone calls or email.
Not everything has to be a video call, just like in "normal" life. If a call feels like it will only take 15 minutes and you know seeing this particular person face to face isn't integral, ask them if they're more comfortable with a phone call or email exchange. If you're simply tapped out, try to reschedule completely. The conversation is likely to go better when you're feeling refreshed and motivated.
Written by Sarah Suydam, Staff Writer for West Michigan Woman.