Call it Zoom Fatigue or Online Burnout: Everybody hits that wall at some point.
But there are a range of strategies that can help you navigate your online world more skillfully.
What follows are my tips for combating virtual meeting fatigue so that you can engage your teams, colleagues and customers in the most impactful way.
- 1. Check in with yourself and take an inventory of your energy level. If it is low, consider a mental and physical reset, which can be as simple as taking a break and a walk outside or drinking a very cold glass of water.
2. Check in with others: Every interaction matters, so it’s a good time to take a moment and focus on each person in the meeting. What is the purpose of the interaction. Why are they there? Why are you there?
3. Support others. Listen to what they say and comment in the chat or follow up with an email or call. Every person you encounter has the potential to become an ally and a part of your network. This doesn’t happen automatically especially on virtual platforms; rather, it requires effort and follow up.
4. Set boundaries. It is physically and mentally impossible to be all things to all people at all times. You have several options here. When you are not available, have an out-of-office message that says: “I appreciate your email. I am offline for next X number of hours. Look forward to getting back to you”. If someone texts and expects instant response, then simply respond with a message like “Thanks, will get back to soonest”. Remember other people’s urgency is not necessarily yours.
5. Master the YES sandwich:
- –Respond positively to a request.
- –Explain why you can’t assist right now.
- –Offer an alternative solution.
- 6. Schedule opportunities for casual check-ins with your team. These are opportunities for everyone to share the personal challenges they are facing and reinforce that you are invested in their wellbeing.
7. Get someone to video you during your next virtual meeting. Look at how you are coming across both in terms of the verbal (what you are saying) and non- verbal (how you are saying it), and critique yourself. Are you well lit? Lighting should be in front not behind you. Are you looking INTO the camera? Are you well framed?
8. Remind yourself that every virtual interaction is an opportunity to build trust and rapport with your team, colleagues, and customers.
9. Laugh. Find the humor in a situation and then laugh about it. A good belly laugh is said to strengthen your immune system and increases the production of antibodies and cells that fight off disease. Laughing is also said to decrease blood pressure.
- 10. Listen to music at some point in your day. Music stimulates your dopamine system. Evidence shows that music can also stimulate neurogenesis and neuroplasticity.