Combatting “Zoom” Fatigue*!

I have used Zoom in a personal and professional capacity for around four years but since March 2020 my usage when from once or twice or a month to multiple times a day.

Zoom, MS Teams, Skype, FaceTime etc, have all been great ways of staying connecting with friends and family. As restrictions are lifted you’d think the need for these videos calls would also be lifted, yet in this ever connected small world we live in, more and more people are seeing the benefit to retaining it’s use.

Participating in a video call can be tiring. You have no choice but to pay attention. Even if you turn your camera off, which in many meeting you can’t as you need to be seen, you still need to be listening to everything that’s being said. That in itself can be a challenge if the speaker, or yourself, has a poor connection or even a poor quality microphone.

And then, during the meeting, we start multitasking! You check your texts or do some other task that takes your attention away from the meeting.

Without noticing it you find zoom fatigue kicks in and the next thing you know you’re resentful of the next meeting, of your time being used up on a screen or even resentful of your family who, to you it appears are disturbing you, to them they’re just looking to spend time with you.

So what can you do to combat this faitigue? Well here are four tips that should help.

Don’t use Zoom!
Okay, you’re gonna think “Well dur! Of course I won’t get zoom fatigue if I don’t use zoom!” but what I mean is don’t do video calls. If you’ve been on zoom all day and a family member or friend tries to do a video call say no. Make it a phone call instead. If a work colleague wants to meet on zoom to discuss a work issue ask if it can be done by phone or even email, rather than yet another zoom call. I love zoom, but avoid it when you can to stop the onset of zoom fatigue.

Take Breaks!
This shouldn’t need saying but even now, as people get more and more mindful, it still does. Staring at a screen is tiring. Every fifty minutes take a ten minute break. Recommendations often say to take a twenty minute break every two house but trust me, ten minutes an hour is better than twenty minutes every two hours. And during this break DO NOT check your phone! It’s another screen!

Hands holding a phone while looking a computer
Don’t use your phone while on a Zoom meeting!

Avoid multitasking
If you were in a face-to-face meeting you wouldn’t get up and walk around. You wouldn’t answer a call from a friend to chat about weekend plans. Don’t turn mute yourself or turn your camera off (unless told to) and that way you’ll not be tempted to do something other than pay attention to you meeting. Trust me, paying attention is going to take enough out of you, don’t make it worse by trying to multitask.

Appropriate Backgrounds or Views
If you’re on a zoom meeting and one person gets up and walks away your eyes, regardless of who is speaking, are drawn to it. At the beginning of any meeting ask people to turn their camera off if they’re going to get up and walk away. If you’re running the meeting consider sending everyone the same background via email and asking them to use it. It’ll stop you being nosey into other peoples offices and rooms. The other option is to agree that only the speaker has their camera on, that way your attention is focused only on them.

Finally, just remember, if you’re feeling that zoom fatigue or just need a break it’s okay to say no. Think about how you’re feeling before you sit down in front of the screen again. Refuse that Facetime, reschedule that meeting, take a break! Do a five minute destress.

Laptop, Workstation, Browsing, Tablet, Computer, Desk

*By “Zoom Fatigue” I mean any kind of video conferencing

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