Write, write and then write some more

We’ve all had Zoom fatigue over the last couple of months. Every interaction we used to have in the office is now replaced by a Zoom call or a variation of that. Voice and video calls dominate our workdays and it’s incredibly hard to get any deep, meaningful work done with so many calls.

So how we do get over Zoom fatigue? Surprise, surprise, have fewer calls. The easiest and most sustainable way to reduce the number of calls in a day is to write and write thoughtfully. Before setting up a call, determine if the call could instead be replaced by a short Skype message or a longer thoughtful message on Teams or an email. I’ve come to realise that most meetings can be replaced by one of these options.

The writing first approach should be combined with a shift away from the “ASAP” culture. Some messages need urgent attention and can be addressed over IM, but most don’t. Yet, most discussions and messages seem to end with “Can you get back to me ASAP?” or a variation of that. Give people enough time to think and respond thoughtfully.

A culture that emphasizes this kind of asynchronous communication will enable happier, more productive teams. Teams that can do a lot more deep, meaningful work with fewer interruptions.

Make meetings your last option. Not your first. Write more. It won’t come easy but can transform how you work and help you reclaim precious time.