Do you find yourself more exhausted at the end of your workday than you were pre-pandemic? Are you experiencing brain fog, mental fuzz, and fatigue from overstimulation? If so, you’re not alone.
Zoom Fatigue and COVID Brain are very much a thing. Have you heard these two new phrases circling around your office space? Times have changed and in our current reality, many executives are utilizing new means of communication in the workplace. Beneficial, yes. Overstimulating? At times.
These days we cannot seem to peel ourselves away from our screens. It seems for now and in the near future the only time for “face time” is through virtual means. The question we need to ask ourselves is, are we utilizing it effectively and getting the maximum benefits from our virtual interactions? Zoom can be very overstimulating. Having calls ranging from 30 minutes to hours on end with anywhere from 1 to countless employees is mentally exhausting.
While Zoom can be overstimulating at times, the experts do suggest that the absence of verbal and nonverbal cues are creating disjointed conversations. These disjointed conversations can be taxing on our brainpower. This suggests that if we are mindful in our virtual interactions, we can benefit from utilizing platforms such as Zoom. Zoom provides what email, text, and phone cannot, the ability to amplify communication utilizing nonverbals. Nonverbal cues account for 55% of the message being relayed during these interactions. (More to come on the 7-38-55 rule of personal communication.)
Recently, I had the opportunity to speak with Steve Lounsberry, President and business coach for Katalyst Systems Impact, regarding his experience with Zoom and his increased virtual interactions.
Q-On average, how many hours do you utilize Zoom in a day?
Steve- On any given day I meet with clients between six and ten hours.
Q- How do you make sure that you do not get “Zoom Fatigue”?
Steve- I recognize the need to build in breaks and transitions, otherwise by the end of the day I find myself gassed from overstimulation. Between calls I build in transitions where I can get up from my desk, walk around, and refocus for my next virtual meeting.
Q- What are three suggestions to offer your clients in regard to maximizing the effectiveness of their Zoom meetings?
Steve- Identify the message of your meeting, switch to phone calls or emails with less complicated and/or emotional topics, be proactive in your breaks, and when time allows, change your stimulation by walking around to refocus.
Q-COVID Brain… I recently came across an article on inc.com (COVID Brain) and found it relative to the Zoom Fatigue concept and the idea that we are more overstimulated and fragile than pre-pandemic. Have you experienced this and what advice can you offer your audience on keeping focused?
Steve- I have found that due to the added chaos of COVID19 and the evolution of what the workplace looks like, that there are times over the last few months I’ve certainly had a bit of “COVID Brain”. In suggesting how to overcome I agree that being mindful of your situation and surroundings is important. Stay present and eliminate extra noise. When necessary LEVERAGE, so that you can free up time to refocus and regain energy.
What suggestions will you utilize to combat your Zoom fatigue and COVID Brain?
Here’s to being mindful, staying present, and refueling your virtual energy.