We at CIIN take pride and pleasure in bringing people together and we’ve developed quite the following. So when the situation changed and we could no longer host people like we were used to, there came the demands for us to host some of our previously planned events virtually. Though it is definitely an option we are considering, but we didn’t jump at the opportunity like others did. To say we were curious at our reaction is putting it mildly! Why weren’t we as excited to jump on the Zoom bandwagon like the others did? After some investigation we came to a very interesting finding….there is something called Zoom exhaustion and it is real folks.
If you’ve done a few virtual meetings yourself you would understand what we mean! You leave these meetings worn out and you never understand why. Simply said it offers too much stimulation which leaves us exhausted. It can be explained as follows; when we’re online our attention and focus are much different than when we are with people physically. When we are online we become extremely focused on a few available visual cues which we would otherwise obtain from people’s body language so we are deprived that when we’re online. Additionally, when we’re with a number of people online, we are continuously processing a number of visual cues all at the same time which is something that wouldn’t happen had we been seated in a meeting room. Add to that it is very easy to get distracted by cues in our vicinity such as our phones, so we struggle to concentrate on what our colleagues are saying. It is simply a case of “disconnected connection” so to speak. Is there anything that can be done to overcome that? Below are a few tips.
1 || Ground Yourself Before Getting Started
Try to settle yourself down before clicking join or start. Place your hand on your heart and take a few deep breaths. Notice your surroundings, your body, and your mind in an effort to ground yourself.
2 || Greet People With Your Full Attention
Give proper attention to each face that appears (if they’re not too many). Try to feel the other’s presence just like you would, had you seen them in person, and allow them to do the same.
3 || Choose “Speaker View”
If your meeting is on Zoom choose speaker view instead of gallery view so that you can focus your attention on the one person who is speaking. This will help with your focus and will minimise extra stimulation from visual cues.
4 || Do Not Multitask
Resist the temptation to multitask while you’re on a Zoom session. How many times have checked emails, or scrolled though Instagram to say the least. Perhaps what’s on the Zoom session doesn’t require your fullest attention at the moment you might say to yourself. Regardless! You are straining your brain with this added effort. What you can do however, is to take notes if it’s a business meeting, this will greatly help with your focus.
5 || Look Out The Window
Make sure to shift your focus regularly to look out the window or to some other object perhaps your book shelf just to soften your gaze and relax a little.
6 || Schedule Breaks
Try to schedule regular breaks to go to the bathroom, get a glass of water or just to take a breather and to move. And refrain from scheduling back-to-back meetings; your brain needs a chance to recover and change gears.
7 || Remind Yourself This Is New & Temporary
Whether the world decides to go forth with Zoom indefinitely when this is all over or whether this is only temporary, you just have to remind yourself that this is a new place for everyone and it could be temporary … or not. Just imagine how our world would be without these apps that make it easier to connect.
8 || Consider The Advantages
Keep reminding yourself of the advantages of these virtual meetings. Zero commute time, you’re dressed comfortably, your pet or kid is nearby, and you can even join without video should you really feel like it though we don’t recommend it. So despite the fact that there is a certain level of exhaustion involved as with everything new when the novelty wear off, but we have to admit that the advantages outweigh the negatives.