Five Tips to Avoid ‘Zoom Fatigue’

We’re all spending more time at home right now which means more screen time as meetings, and even social gatherings, are moved online. For many people, this sudden increase in virtual meetings can lead to what some are calling ‘Zoom fatigue’ – named for the popular video conferencing platform.

Signs of Zoom fatigue include being more exhausted than usual at the end of the day, trouble focusing during video conferences, and anxiety about upcoming ones. None of that is good for your productivity or your health, so here are five tips to help you avoid Zoom fatigue in the first place.

  1. Try not to schedule meetings back-to-back
    At the office, back-to-back meetings can be tiring but at least you have the transition time in between to switch rooms or grab a refill on your water. Give yourself that same space between meetings when you’re working from home. Ideally you should space out your meetings throughout the day, but if that’s not possible, still take a moment to stand up, stretch, and give your eyes a break from your screen before diving back in.
  1. Remove distractions
    One common symptom of Zoom fatigue is the tendency to be easily distracted and lose concentration. To help you stay focused the entire meeting, proactively remove the most likely distractions. This means closing any tabs or documents you might be tempted to work on as well as your email program so you won’t get notifications during the meeting.
  1. Use the 20-20-20 rule
    The 20-20-20 rule is a good one to use even once you’re back at the office as it helps prevent eye strain. Quite simply, every 20 minutes spend 20 seconds looking at something 20 feet away that is not a screen.
  1. Focus on others
    Research has shown that when we’re in video chats, we spend most of our time looking at our own faces. Most video conferencing platforms give you the option to hide your own video feed, which can help you concentrate on whoever is speaking or the documents they’re presenting.
  1. Don’t be afraid to say no
    Not every meeting needs to be a video meeting. If you’re not going to be looking at documents together and are starting to feel worn down, suggest a phone call instead. It will give you a break from your screen and you can even bring your energy up by walking around your room while you’re on the call.
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