Combat Zoom Fatigue

Much of the country is still working from home and it could become the norm moving forward, as companies realize the positives connected to offering more flexible work schedules. For many of us who are also pursuing an advanced degree through online learning, this means there may be little to no break between work and learning – and the amount of time we’re spending on video calls. Of course, all of the staring and Zoom chatting is exhausting and can take a toll on both our physical and mental health. Often laughed off as Zoom Fatigue, the effects of combining our screen time with enhanced concentration and constant video contact create a very real challenge for us to be productive at work, focus during an online class, and to wind down when we finally walk away from the computer.

Allie PearceHow do we stay focused for that online class? You know, the one that you’re taking as part of your goal to move ahead at work, or change careers, or just to enhance your knowledge in an area of interest? Are there things we can do to combat Zoom fatigue and keep ourselves on track?

“I would recommend taking breaks from all screens (phone included) for periods of time, and to give yourself a break,” says Allie Pearce, Assistant Director of Healthy Campus Initiatives at Rowan University. “Virtual learning is hard enough, and now we’re doing virtual everything! Get up and walk around, go outside for a bit if you can. Try to rid yourself of distractions if you can, but know that right now kids and pets and family members might distract you. And that’s ok.” Other tips from Allie include:

  • Be present and ready before you click start - Take a few minutes to clear your mind from your previous meeting. Walk around the house or, if you have time, the block. When you start with a clear focus on the topic at hand, it will resonate more clearly.
  • Choose the view that makes it easiest for you to concentrate - We all learn differently, and there are usually a variety of viewing options. Experiment a little and see which view works best for your concentration level.
  • Resist the temptation to multitask - While it may seem like a good idea to accomplish other items on your to-do list while in class, stretching your time and mind across different activities will likely lead to more time on Zoom to catch-up on what was skimmed over.
  • Taking breaks - As mentioned above by Allie, screen-free time is an excellent way to refocus and prepare.
  • This meeting could be an email - We’ve all seen the funny memes about meetings that could have been an email. Think about the number of video meetings you currently have scheduled. Could the subject be solved just as efficiently through email? If so, save yourself (and your colleagues) the screen time. You’ll thank yourself later when you log in for class.
  • Don’t binge classes to catch up - The equivalent of an all-nighter, but with heightened consequences for your mind and body, because it’s on a screen. Just say no.

Does this focus on well-being and mental preparedness have you thinking about other ways you could improve your wellness, or maybe help others with theirs? Through Rowan’s School of Health Professions, you can learn more about overall wellness strategies for you – and even turn it into a position to help others achieve their goals. We offer a M.A. in Wellness & Lifestyle Management, as well as a Certificate in Wellness Coaching.


Are you interested in pursuing an advanced degree? Request information for a specific program, attend an info session, or start your application.

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