Back to back
Technology gave us Zoom fatigue. Can technology also be the solution? Yesterday I had back to back meetings. All. Day. Long. With little to no time in between meetings. Luckily it wasn’t a typical day at the home office, but it wasn’t exceptional either.
These days are exhausting, both cognitively and physically. Back to back, and to my back – which is where I can feel it. I’m not built to sit behind a screen for hours straight. Yet there is no one to blame but me. I planned or accepted the meetings myself.
So why am I doing this to myself? I think it’s because it’s the path of least resistance. Filling my calendar like it’s a game of Tetris is easy. There’s always another meeting waiting to be planned, so gaps almost fill themselves. The alternative, saying no, is always harder.
I’m currently reading Greg McKeown’s new book Effortless, which is about how important things should be easy instead of hard. Today I read a passage in the book that struck me:
“Do not do more today than you can completely recover from today. Do not do more this week than you can completely recover from this week.”
This brings me to an idea. What if software helps us a hand in preventing Zoom fatigue and plans ‘recover time’ for us?
What if, whenever you plan or accept a meeting, another block of the same duration is reserved in your calendar, right after the meeting, during which you are unavailable for calls? So if you plan a video call from 10:00 to 11:00, your calendar automatically blocks your time from 11:00 to 12:00. You can use this time to ‘recover’: write down takeaways and todos from the meeting or better yet: get away from the screen and be productive in a different way. Sketch an idea. Take a walk.
This will make it even harder to plan meetings because it cuts your available time in half. But that’s kind of the whole idea.
I want to have this feature. But of course I don’t need software to do this, I can already do it myself. The only thing I need is more discipline, which is a finite resource. If only my bucket of discipline could be filled as easily as my calendar.