If you think you’re tired of Zoom meetings, spare a thought for Eric Yuan, the CEO of Zoom. At a recent Wall Street Journal event, Yuan said he had had 19 Zoom meetings in a row one day last year.
“I’m so tired of that,” he said, “I do have meeting fatigue.” His solution was to stop booking back-to-back Zoom meetings. But Yuan’s only patching over the real problem: Most meetings are boring. They’re badly run, badly organized, often irrelevant, and always and so tedious that you want to cry.
Sure, Zoom has fundamentally changed how we do business and communicate with colleagues, friends, and family. And in many ways, it’s made us more productive. But in other ways, Zoom has become a drain on our day. With so many calls and always worrying about our lighting, our audio, and our backgrounds, it can be fatiguing, to say the least — hence the phrase, zoom fatigue.
But luckily, there are ways to address Zoom fatigue. From a handy helping of taking breaks to the simple task of hiding yourself from view, so you don’t get too distracted during your call, here are some handy ways to battle Zoom fatigue:
1. Stay Focused
First and foremost, you need to do your best to stay focused during your Zoom calls. It’s too easy to surf the Web, check your Instagram page, or Google topics that are on your mind. Try limiting your distractions by expanding your Zoom window to full screen and eliminating the urge to use other apps. Not staying focused only makes Zoom calls harder — and more tiring.
2. Keep Breaks
Speaking of tiring, there are plenty of times when you find yourself on marathon Zoom calls with no end in sight. Do your best to address that by having breaks between sessions. Get outside, take a walk, and just get away from your computer. Your mind will be happy you did.
3. Skip the Meeting Entirely
Most meetings are attended by twice as many people as are really needed, and the perfunctory mechanics of them mean we know what to expect, lending a tedium to them that’s bound to tire us out. Why not do them entirely differently? A narrated presentation using AirDeck can replace many forms of meetings entirely. Add a poll to the final slide of your next AirDeck presentation to ask people if they liked it — and if it was a useful way to combat Zoom fatigue.
4. Hide Yourself From View
Although we don’t often acknowledge it, the way we look on a Zoom call is on our minds quite often. Instead of listening to others on the calls, we’re watching to see how we look, whether our lighting is right, and whether our backgrounds look right. Since that can be a heavy distraction (and brain drain), just hide your windows so you don’t spend time looking at yourself. It might also be a good idea to hide others when you’re viewing someone’s screen. Although it eliminates a layer of personal touch, it makes for a better and more appealing Zoom experience.
5. Consider Phone Calls
Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, consider whether you really need a Zoom call. Sure, it’s become the default in our daily lives, but is it really necessary? Try picking up the phone instead. Better yet, consider whether your Zoom call can be handled with an e-mail or text message. That alone could go a long way in ditching your Zoom fatigue.