Remember? It was just year or so ago, we were glad to have communication platforms like Zoom. We celebrated being able to stay connected, despite the stay-at-home and lock-down orders from the pandemic.
Remember? We had virtual happy hours and chatted with friends around the world, even as we socially distanced to flatten the curve.
But now, a just year later, it can feel more like Zoom is running your life, rather than supporting your ability to do your work.
Zoom and other similar platforms are meant to support us in our work as innovative and high-performing people.
In fact, I don’t believe that there’s a supervisor, manager, or senior leader out there who expects their employees to feel chained to their computers. And yet, with the back-to-back meetings and seemingly little time to reset, it sure can seem that way.
When emotions like fatigue, frustration and boredom set in, productivity, motivation, and creativity plummet.
In 2020, hard-work, grit, and tenacity were touted as the mindsets du jour. But as we’ve all learned, grit only gets you so far when it comes to managing that sense of dread when you look at your calendar only to realize that you’re booked, back to back with Zoom meetings for foreseeable future.
Instead, we need something else.
Here are my best 3 solutions to zoom fatigue.
And promise me: no matter what your calendar tells you, try this:
- Come off autopilot, notice when your body needs a break, and then take it. We train ourselves to sit still and work for hours on end, but it’s actually a disservice to creativity and productivity. The brain can only focus for about 45 minutes at a time.
Set a reminder on your phone to get up from your workstation – and all your screens – walk around, stretch, and drink some water.
Taking time to reset your body allows you to feel better and gives you a fresh perspective.
- Get yourself some sunshine. I live in Arizona, and it’s beautiful in the desert right now. Sunlight boosts vitamin D, supports healthy immune functioning, and can help to improve your mood. No matter where you are in the world, find a way to get yourself out into the sunshine for at least 20 minutes every day.
- Do something different. Human brains are wired for connection and for new experiences. Doing the same thing day after day starts to feel tedious and boring. Go for a walk, hike, bike, golf, do yoga in your garden, go for a swim. Do something different.
A couple of final thoughts.
Remember this: you’re not a robot or a clone, and as a human being, you’re not meant to sit in front of a screen for hours and hours on end without a break.
Zoom’s not going anywhere, so let’s make our technology work for us, not the other way around.
Give yourself permission to take care of yourself.
One last thing: most people know what they’re supposed to do to prevent fatigue, but for one reason or another, they don’t seem to get around to it. If that sounds familiar, it’s worth taking a look inside and figuring out what you’re willing to do differently to support your well-being now and in the future.