#1. Take your next meeting over the phone.
This is an idea that came to me first as a rumor and then through personal observation. I’ve had a lot of meetings recently and the audio-only ones are better, more connected, and less exhausting than the video ones.
Marissa Shuffler, PhD, an associate professor of industrial-organizational psychology at Clemson University in South Carolina, says part of what’s so exhausting about Zoom and other video platforms is the sheer number of faces you’re confronted with at once, including your own. “We don’t normally look at every single person when we’re in a conversation; you’re going to be kind of looking around to different people and focusing on one person at a time as you’re talking. So to have everyone on the screen in front of you at the same time — it can be very cognitively overloading and taxing,” she says. “It’s that just constant battle to figure out, ‘where am I supposed to be focusing?’ It can get exhausting.”
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#2. Walking meetings.
Sarah takes almost all of her meetings on a treadmill because we built her office around a treadmill desk. But I’m just now realizing that if I move my meetings from video to phone, then I also can walk and talk. I’ll just be on my AirPods.
I love knowledge work, but I’m also aware that it means I’m not nearly as active as my body needs. I try to cram all that physical energy into a short virtual bike race. But it would be better to redesign work to include more activity.
I’ve done that a little bit with my Pomodoro 1K idea. Now I often am lifting my kettlebell in between tasks. But taking more walking meetings would be another big step toward a healthy balance of using my mind and my body.
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#3. A poem about (I think) the way we let injuries define us.
Origin of the Marble Forest
Childhood dotted with bodies.
Let them go, let them
No, I said,
Make them stay, make them stone.
For the record, I didn’t read or bookmark this poem thinking at all about gun violence in US schools. Rather, it connected with me about the freedom that comes when you let go of childhood hurts. But it’s poetry, interpret it as you wish.
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