Are you ZOOMED Out?

by Charlotte Purdy

Zoom. The platform most organizations and groups are using to connect to one another since social distancing has become the new normal. It is a handy tool for hosting meetings, making decisions, and just visiting with one another, but day after day of Zoom meetings can seem like a chore.

Think back to 45 years ago. We had party-lines in our homes and never knew who we’d hear on the other end when we first took the phone off the wall. Remember those super long, curly phone cords that allowed you to walk into another room while talking on the phone? We were really “up town” if we had that right?! Imagine having to use ONLY that now to carry on a phone conversation with your BFF or your Mother!

Sure, a lot was discussed over the phone years ago, and community members were able to reach out and keep in touch with one another, all by means of a “party line.” Now, Zoom is here and let’s face it, it probably won’t be going away any time soon. (I bet you wish you would have taken stock in it now huh?)

Over the past few months, Zoom has provided a way for many people to work from home and still attend meetings. Meetings that are important and ensure that things in the office continue to run smoothly. Wait, smoothly? COVID-19 pandemic and I said “smoothly?” (giggles)

You must giggle in today’s world. There is so much negativity that you need to laugh at the little things, like the party lines and the word smoothly. But let’s face it. Zoom is our new “party line” and we need to make sure that we get the best out of every meeting.

For some, having six or seven meetings a day via Zoom is normal. For others, it may only be once a week. Those long days of Zoom meeting after Zoom meeting can really wear a person down because there is plethora of information to soak in. I can say, a day filled with Zoom makes me more tired than a day of constant physical activity. Keeping notes, staying focused and being alert is sometimes hard.

So how do you prevent becoming a Zoomombie? Take frequent breaks and invest in a pair of wireless earbuds! That way, during the meetings you can still be present but are able to move around and be physical, preventing you from zoning out. Trust me, 8-10 hours of Zoom will leave you feeling sluggish, so allowing yourself the time to be active will help! Even if it’s just walking around inside the house while you are listening to the meeting!

Don’t overschedule yourself either. With any meeting or discussion, it is very important to stay focused. If you schedule meetings over other meetings, the information will become jumbled and that’s the last thing you need. So, schedule wisely!

Take notes! Lots of them! Chances are you’re going to be busy while attending the videos but remember to always jot down notes to help you remember what was covered during the sessions. Whether it’s a business meeting or an organizational meeting, notes will help you separate the information that was discussed. Oh and don’t forget where you put the notes either! If you’re like me, sometimes you’ll take notes and then forget where you placed them because you have too many notes and books at your desk. So try to stay organized!

Don’t let Zoom make you a Zoomombie! Stay active, take notes, and giggle about the party lines. For the younger generation that have no clue what that is, ask your parents and grandparents! It will be an interesting conversation that will make you wish you would have had one in your home!

Stay active and healthy, and good luck staying on track during all of your Zoom meetings!

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