Enough is Enough – No More Zoom Fatigue – Get The Most Out of Your Virtual Meetings

Maybe we should stop worrying about what other people think about us and take care of ourselves first?

As things open up and we are doing less and less video meeting I know many of the extroverts are happy (hell thrilled would be the right word) but for those of us that were really enjoying the zoom meetings, it does not have the same feeling of happiness. Either way, video meetings are not going to all go away, they will balance into their place in business.  With that in mind, we need to talk about how to better manage the video meeting experience.

Ok, ladies, (I am focused on my female readers because they seem to be stressing about this more than the other genders.) this was the oddest thing to read about recently.  I was talking with a business colleague and she said she had just received an article from a friend about how Zoom fatigue was affecting women more.  Since she had not read the article I asked her to speculate why that is.

We tossed out a couple of ideas and then she sent me this article.  CLICK HERE

I wasn’t surprised by the finding, but women, we need to talk about this.  I have been doing zoom calls for years and I have some boundaries around that stuff.  You can’t give-up your sanity to these things.

They found that overall,

one in seven women – 13.8 percent – compared with one in 20 men – 5.5 percent

– reported feeling “very” to “extremely” fatigued after Zoom calls.

 

“#1 – Self-Focused Attention triggered by the self-view in video conferencing.”

My Recommended Solutions:

  • Turn off self-view in options
  • Turn off your camera when there is a speaker
  • Move further away from the camera so it is not just your face staring back at you

I can understand this, I have been wearing more lip gloss and eyeglasses since March 2020 than ever before.  I also sit away from the camera to I am focused on more things than just myself and the other people talking. I enjoy watching other people do their hair and get set when meetings start, it is kind of funny.

 

#2 – Our meetings tend to run longer

My Recommended Solutions:

  • Set a timer and tell people that you have a timer for the meeting. When it goes off,  you are all done
  • Leave the meeting at the scheduled end time – tell people that you have a hard stop at “X”
  • Remind people that you only have five minutes left
  • Get the most important stuff done first, then catch up

I would like to say I am good at keep my meetings on schedule. I can be, but I can also get all caught up in a conversation and let things go over.  This was a good reminder for me and I am going to get back to my timers and to respecting the time and space of the people I am meeting with.  One of the coaches in my PQ training is amazing at this and she has now taught me the art of the virtual meeting staying on track.

 

#3 – Not taking breaks between meetings

  • My Recommended Solutions:
  • Walk away and take a break
  • Ask people if you need to turn off your camera while you stand and stretch
  • Drink more water, it causes you to HAVE to take a break
  • Pack a lunch and enjoy it away from the camera

 

I can get so darn antsy sitting all day in zoom meetings.  I have a couple of tricks for that.  I have a sitting zoom station at my desk with a light and I have a standing zoom station (with an old computer that can’t do anything more than hook to zoom) in another location.  So when we take a break I will move locations.  A couple of boxes can also do that trick. You can stack them and place your computer on top for a standing desk experience.  I also pack my lunch in the morning and bring it with me to my home office.  If I don’t have time between meetings for a break, I tell them that I have to take a moment and go off-camera for 5 min while I listen.  I quickly move around and eat, it’s great.

They have other suggestions and more details about the study and its findings at the above link.

We know that zoom is here to stay, one way or another.  Ladies, let’s not allow ourselves to give up our mental health and wellbeing at the same time.  We need to adjust and take care of ourselves.  That is nobody’s fault but our own when we don’t place ourselves in our schedule.  This is not someone else’s job.  This is your job.

In my coaching, I do a lot of virtual meetings and I find them to be very effective for my clients.  While it is not the same as in person, I feel that it offers more advantages than disadvantages and my clients find that, too.

The coach in me has to ask, which of these suggestions do you think you will add to your next zoom meeting?

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