Updated: May 14, 2021
These days everyone is probably used to the ‘new’ grind of working from home which means a lot more conference calls than what you’ve been used to in the pre-pandemic world. Having numerous calls throughout the day can be incredibly mentally draining and not leave much for the ‘life’ of the work/life balance at the end of the day. Here are some tips to keep fatigue at bay when doing a lot of virtual meetings in one day.
Avoid Back to Back Meetings
This is a nice-to-have and a lot of times unavoidable but when you find yourself bouncing from meeting to meeting, often times with completely different focus areas it makes it difficult to prepare your mindset for going into the meeting. Try your best to give yourself at least 10-15 minutes to mentally reset before shifting meetings and you’ll find that your ability to focus is much stronger.
Go on Video
This may seem paradoxical but going on video can lessen the fatigue that you come out of meetings with. Going on video helps establish a more personal contact to the other meeting attendees. In larger groups (such as a webinar or presentation) this may not be as effective but for your standard 4-5 person meetings it gives an extra sense of connection to the other individuals you’re meeting with and keeps you more focused on the discussion just as if you were in a conference room with the individuals. Yes this requires you to perhaps make yourself a little more presentable than what you typically do for voice-only calls but it goes a long way in terms of helping avoid getting fatigued by not being as engaged in the meeting.
Do Not Multi-Task
As yourself one thing when you start ‘multi-tasking’ during a meeting – would you do this in person? If not, then why are you doing it now? If you’re in a meeting where you are not bringing anything to the discussion or taking anything away, then why are you there in the first place? Organizations a lot of times tend to over-invite to meetings for fear of someone not hearing the message. Good meeting management can help solve this but that’s a discussion for another day. When you are in your calls, staying focused is also a great way to not be fatigued by these meetings. We over-estimate our ability to both listen to the discussion and get that nagging status report done on the side but the truth is our brains are only wired to do one thing at once so we’re actually just micro-switching the entire time which is hugely taxing on our minds and can lead to a lot of fatigue. Stop multi-tasking (a.k.a. micro-switching) and/or ask yourself why you are in the meeting in the first place if you feel you’re able to not pay attention.
Online fatigue is real – and just as impactful (if not more) than physical fatigue. Use these tips to help stay refreshed throughout the day and to leave some gas in the tank for after work.