Are you all Zoomed Out?
Do you feel like you could throw your pen (or wine glass) at your screen if you have to attend one more virtual meeting?
Are you sometimes feeling more fatigued after a day of work-at-home than if you had driven two hours in traffic both ways to the office?
If so, you are NOT alone (even if you really physically are right now.)
At the beginning of this COVID-19 Shelter-In-Place, working-from-home system, some people felt relief (Oh Good! No more commuting!) Some people dreaded the question, "How am I going to keep these kids busy?" Some thought it would be challenging, but at least they were not going to be interrupted every five minutes by the office busy-body!
It has been a challenge for EVERYONE - even those of us that did not expect the challenge. Just ask my coach!
If you are like me and have worked from home part of the time for a while now, you may have thought, as I did, "No Big Deal! I do this all the time!"
NOT SO FAST, SISTA'!
I did not take into consideration that I also had a regular and healthy helping of networking events, in-person coaching sessions, corporate training events, professional organization meetings, as well as the numerous committee and board sessions (Because I can't say NO!) I was normally traveling part of the week for meetings and corporate training events, and working from home for some coaching sessions, content writing and online posting. I had a good balance.
Then came COVID-19!
ALL my meetings and socials were transformed to Screen Meet-ups. This may work for board meetings and webinars, but Boy! Have I learned that the human interaction is not completely replaceable! There is an energy transmitted through the physical proximity that is not transmitted fully through a screen. Furthermore, there is more to body language than what you can pick up via Teams, FaceTime or Zoom. And YES, you can get a crazy and depressing bout of Screen Fatigue, especially when the center rod of your screen and live-people balance gets knocked right out!
Furthermore, for people who need networking to grow their business, there is nothing like working a room! Walking in, taking stock of who all is present, taking a deep breath, generating your warmest smile to shine across the four corners of that room and stepping forth - ready to engage! To some people, working a room is like getting teeth pulled. I can teach them the mechanics and coach them to a point where they are a little more comfortable about it, but they will never love it like I do. However, even these people understand and value how much that uncomfortable situation can open so many doors to so many connections. An online meeting just isn't the same.
So are we doomed to Zoom for the rest of our lives?
Although I have personally become much more Zoom-savvy myself, it is not the be-all, end-all. Sure, I am using it to increase the reach and scope of my business. I am still learning my way around it and how to maximize all its uses - there are so many and more coming daily, especially since they have now become a household name for not only organizations and entrepreneurs like myself, but families who want to stay connected and celebrate together though they live across the world or across the city. Some of these, like my mother, had never even used an online meeting platform before. This online movement will definitely remain a part of how business (and some family socializing) will and should be conducted moving forward and beyond COVID - A Part - not the future Whole. You can never fully replace the joy of un-screened human contact - however careful - and the energy transmitted and shared within a group physically. It is why we LOVE live concerts! And why I LOVE to speak and do live training for groups! I live for that energy and I am missing it terribly. I know I am not the only one.
We will get back to that soon enough, as soon as it is truly safe. Patience is Key right now.
In the meantime, when you feel a bout of Screen Fatigue coming on, here are some things you can do instead of chucking something at it:
1- Take a walk. Anywhere - outside, around your kitchen table, down the hall and back - just get up and move!
2- Stop. Do something else - read, cook, build, garden, play with your animals - they are just as tired of staring at you staring at that screen - do something else even for just a few minutes.
3- Read a book - preferably an actual ink and paper book, but in the absence of that, I guess your Reader will do. Just avoid the phone (one more screen to contend with.)
4- Make a cup of something warm and delicious - coffee, cocoa, tea, (a Mocha for Mitch!)
5- Do some yoga stretches and breathing.
6- Call a friend. Again, CALL - No FaceTime (in keeping with screen breaks.)
Call someone who makes you laugh or inspires you.
Take breaks! In order to stay engaged for the long haul, it is imperative that you Take a Break and Take a Breath.
Your Team, your Family, your Eyes, and your Psyche will thank you later!
If you would like some more tips on how to keep a team engaged in these screen-fatiguing times, Join Me for a complimentary webinar -
Wednesday, May 27th,
11:30 AM to 12:30 PM.
(And then take a break!)
Register Right Here -