Monday, September 11, 2023 · 2 min read

Meeting Fatigue: 5 Strategies to Recharge and Boost Workplace Productivity

Will Cotter
Will CotterGuest Contributor & Entrepreneur
Meeting Fatigue: 5 Strategies to Recharge and Boost Workplace Productivity

If you find yourself dreading meetings, you’re probably experiencing meeting fatigue. This phenomenon involves a combination of symptoms, including mental exhaustion, reduced focus, and a sense of overwhelm stemming from back-to-back meetings, regardless of whether they’re held in person in the office or online. This modern-day dilemma is often a result of several factors, ranging from lack of physical mobility and feeling trapped, whether in your screen or a conference room, due to the deluge of meetings packed into a day.

Is there a way out of it? Can we solve or even minimize it? Definitely. In this article, Will Cotter, owner of the professional home cleaning company HappyCleans, shares five practical strategies for combatting meeting fatigue that have worked for him and his team, which he manages remotely.

1. Mindful Scheduling: Quality Over Quantity

  • Pare Down: Review and streamline your weekly meeting roster using a convenient scheduling tool made for teams. Choose that route if a meeting's objectives can be achieved via email or a quick chat.

  • Buffer Time: Ensure a 15-30 minute gap between meetings. This breathing space allows you to decompress, process information, and brace for the following discussion.

  • Respect Off-Hours: Understand the importance of work-life balance. Steer clear of scheduling meetings early in the morning, late evenings, or weekends.

2. Engage, Don’t Just Attend: Making Meetings Count

  • Introduce tools and platforms that foster interaction, such as interactive whiteboards or collaboration apps. This keeps engagement levels high and combats passive listening.

  • Every meeting doesn’t have to be led by the same person. Rotate this responsibility. Different perspectives bring fresh energy and varied dynamics to the discussion.

3. Physical Movement: Your Secret Weapon

Squeeze in mobility in your in-person meetings.

  • A stand-up meeting, especially for shorter sessions, can energize participants and encourage brevity.

  • For lengthy meetings, introduce a 2-minute stretch break. A quick physical respite can reinvigorate a weary mind.

4. Set A Clear Roadmap: Directing Focus

  • Always Have A Structured Agenda. Begin with a clear outline of what must be achieved by the meeting's end. Circulate this agenda beforehand, allowing attendees to prepare.

  • Have a List of Action Items. Conclude with a recap and clearly defined next steps. Everyone should leave the meeting with a solid understanding of their roles and responsibilities.

5. Drawing Boundaries: Work and Rest

Always try to allocate a distinct space for work-related tasks. Once you step away from this area, it should mentally signal “downtime.” In addition, dedicate certain parts of your day to be entirely tech-free. This could be during meals or an evening stroll, ensuring you give your mind a genuine break.

Final Thoughts

As we live in a world that glorifies the “hustle culture,” it is easy to push yourself to the limit, overbooking yourself and your team with endless meetings that may not necessarily equate to productivity or efficacy. By recognizing and addressing meeting fatigue head-on, we can harness the power of collaboration without letting it become emotionally or mentally draining. Remember, in the world of meetings, it’s about making each one count, not counting how many you attended.

Meet The Author

Will Cotter is a young entrepreneur who made the transition from a desk job as an engineer to running his own startup from home. He owns cleaning companies across the US and runs everything remotely from Ireland. One of his main companies, HappyCleans is based in Oklahoma. It has sister companies in Indianapolis, Milwaukee, and Louisville while the newest ones are located in Jacksonville, Columbus, Detroit, and Cleveland. He has created hundreds of jobs and this has allowed him to pursue his goals of traveling and working remotely.

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