Zoom Fatigue is Real

Zoom fatigue is real. When you are faced with back-to-back virtual meetings, here are three ways to maintain your level of influence.

As estimated 11 million meetings are held every day in the United States.

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. In fact, 83% of employees spend up to one-third of their workweek in meetings.

A recent Microsoft study found that mental stress accumulates significantly when attending two straight hours of back-to-back meetings. Unfortunately, for many, nonstop meetings stretch well beyond two hours, resulting in what we now know as Zoom fatigue.

Here are three practical and immediate steps you can take today to manage your schedule so you remain engaged, focused, and influential.

  1. As much as possible…Control your calendar.

People can tell when you show up frazzled and exhausted. Taking control of your calendar is important; it helps you build 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.

  1. Switch up your workspace.

Sitting at the same desk every day can stifle anyone’s creativity. Sometimes, a change of scenery is all needed to stimulate your brain to refocus on work. Consider getting away from your typical workstation and moving to another location in your home. Can you take your computer to a local coffee shop when you get a break from the camera? Communicating your expectations during meetings is one way to regain control of your time.

  1. Communicate expectations.

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.

Related Articles

Embracing Discomfort

Embracing Discomfort

Why are we so willing to embrace the pain and discomfort of strengthening our bodies but fight against the pain and discomfort of strengthening our influence? Imagine the soreness your body feels after a tough workout. Twenty-four or 48 hours later, you remain...

3 Steps to Captivate Listeners with Stories

3 Steps to Captivate Listeners with Stories

I was sitting in my place of worship with my girlfriend, who has a five-year-old son, Zachary. Zachary, like any 5-year-old, loves to talk. However, he has no volume or filter control when he needs it the most. We're getting to the sermon portion, and Zachary decides...

Ditch Meeting Madness

Ditch Meeting Madness

No longer do we collectively gather in a conference room engaging face-to-face. Now, meetings are a collection of online and in-person attendees consuming and deciphering information at lightning speed. Meetings require engagement and interaction to make an impact....