With the pandemic not going away anytime soon, it seems like the world needs to get used to its work-from-home regimen for the unforeseen future. While we have been struggling to cope with the ‘new normal’ in more ways than one, continuous video calls with workplace colleagues have become an integral part of a regular workday. It hardly comes as a surprise since all of those meetings, conferences, and warm-up sessions have been replaced by video calls.
However, this has taken a toll on some of us, since back-to-back video calls can get quite exhausting. Here are some ways to keep distractions at bay during those long e-meetings.
Don’t Attend the ‘Low-Value’ Calls
Continuous video calls can lead to fatigue. To avoid feelings of exhaustion from constant focus, you can dodge those calls that are not too important. After all, attention is not unlimited, and you should save it for high-priority calls. This helps you retain focus for those truly crucial calls.
Put the Settings to Full Screen
If you want to stay focused in a meeting, make sure you are in a quiet room, within closed doors, and set the image to full screen. If you minimize the screen, it automatically diverts your attention to other tabs, and before you know it, you’ll start multitasking. Steer clear of such visual distractions and concentrate only on the video call for the moment.
Take Down Notes
Keep a pen and paper handy, where you can take down notes. Typing on a keyboard distracts not only you but also others if you forget to turn off your microphone. Taking notes manually also allows you to take a break from the screen-time.
Connect With Yourself
Before joining a video call, take a minute or two to establish a connection with yourself. Try feeling your feet on the ground, closing your eyes, and taking in a few deep breaths to practice mindfulness.
Follow the Two-Questions Rule
While we don’t mean literally ‘two’ questions, it’s a good practice to stay curious during a video call. It will encourage you to listen carefully and thoroughly, which will arouse questions in your mind and keep you more engaged and involved.
On the other hand, if you are just a passive participant in a video call, you will hardly manage to sustain your attention. Besides, questions pave the way for brainstorming and interesting conversations, which is way more desirable than tedious video calls.
Lend Some Context
To stay present during video calls, you can consider setting the context of your surroundings. If you share your surroundings and encourage your co-workers to do the same, it can help you stay focused and realistic. Alert your colleagues that you might be looking to your right while taking notes, as your dog might be walking across the room. Or they can hear the kitchen chimney, and so on!
Keep Your Phone Away
Avoiding distractions with numerous video calls on a day can be a challenging task. To keep yourself focused, you can close your email for a while so that you are not distracted by the ping of new messages. Keep your phone face down if that helps.
Take Time to Settle Down
Before a video call, take a deep breath and let go of all of the activities, stresses of the day, and irritations that have been weighing down on your mind all day long. This should be your way of permitting yourself to be fully present in a video call. It would be best if you got your headspace in the right place so that your previous meeting’s frustrations do not hamper the next.
Taking these small steps can make a world of difference when it comes to staying focused and engaged during video calls. Besides, these will also boost your performance and productivity and also foster healthier relations with your colleagues. Working from home amidst the COVID scenario will need us to incorporate these little habits for smarter work.