3 Ways to Maintain Influence in Back-to-Back Virtual Meetings
Back-to-back virtual meetings have become commonplace for many professionals. The moment one conversation ends, the next begins, rarely providing the opportunity to clear your mind in between.
A recent study by Microsoft found that mental stress accumulates significantly when attending two straight hours of back-to-back meetings. Unfortunately for many, non-stop meetings stretch well beyond two hours, resulting in what we now know as Zoom fatigue.
Three practical and immediate steps you can take today to manage your schedule so you remain engaged, focused and influential.
People can tell when you show up frazzled and exhausted. It is important to take control of your calendar by building in time for the mental breaks needed to remain focused and engaged. Set aside three ten-minute, non-negotiable times throughout the day to refresh and rest. Get some sun by going for a walk. If you can’t leave, get up and stretch or walk around your home. Drink water and eat a healthy snack to build and keep your energy. Do this from somewhere other than your workspace.
Sitting at the same desk everyday can stifle anyone’s creativity. Sometimes a change of scenery is all that’s needed to stimulate your brain to refocus on work. Consider getting away from your typical workstation and move to another location in your home. Can you take your computer to a local coffee shop on days you do get a break from the camera? One way to gain back control of your time is to communicate your expectations during meetings.
Few things can make you feel more rushed or distracted than a meeting running beyond its scheduled time. It steals the time needed to purposefully transition between meetings. When joining a meeting that backs up to another, communicate your expectations. Let attendees know you have a hard stop of when you must leave. Ensure you have enough time to write down your final notes from one meeting and prepare your thoughts for the next.
Fatigue and exhaustion shows. When people sense it, they assume they will not get the best of you in the scheduled time together. Convey a message of control, preparedness and focus by implementing these three tips in virtual meetings this week.
By: Vinh Pham
If you missed one of Stacey’s previous blogs or tips, visit her online.
Check out our Research on Influence in conjunction with the University of Northern Colorado HERE.