Remember? It was just year or so ago, we were glad to have communication platforms like Zoom. We celebrated being able to stay connected, despite the stay-at-home and lock-down orders from the pandemic.

Remember? We had virtual happy hours and chatted with friends around the world, even as we socially distanced to flatten the curve.

But now, a just year later, it can feel more like Zoom is running your life, rather than supporting your ability to do your work.

Zoom and other similar platforms are meant to support us in our work as innovative and high-performing people.  

In fact, I don’t believe that there’s a supervisor, manager, or senior leader out there who expects their employees to feel chained to their computers. And yet, with the back-to-back meetings and seemingly little time to reset, it sure can seem that way.

When emotions like fatigue, frustration and boredom set in, productivity, motivation, and creativity plummet.  

In 2020, hard-work, grit, and tenacity were touted as the mindsets du jour. But as we’ve all learned, grit only gets you so far when it comes to managing that sense of dread when you look at your calendar only to realize that you’re booked, back to back with Zoom meetings for foreseeable future.

Instead, we need something else.

Here are my best 3 solutions to zoom fatigue.
And promise me: no matter what your calendar tells you, try this:

  1. Come off autopilot, notice when your body needs a break, and then take it. We train ourselves to sit still and work for hours on end, but it’s actually a disservice to creativity and productivity. The brain can only focus for about 45 minutes at a time.
    Set a reminder on your phone to get up from your workstation – and all your screens – walk around, stretch, and drink some water.  
    Taking time to reset your body allows you to feel better and gives you a fresh perspective.
  2. Get yourself some sunshine. I live in Arizona, and it’s beautiful in the desert right now. Sunlight boosts vitamin D, supports healthy immune functioning, and can help to improve your mood. No matter where you are in the world, find a way to get yourself out into the sunshine for at least 20 minutes every day.
  3. Do something different. Human brains are wired for connection and for new experiences. Doing the same thing day after day starts to feel tedious and boring. Go for a walk, hike, bike, golf, do yoga in your garden, go for a swim. Do something different.

A couple of final thoughts.

Remember this: you’re not a robot or a clone, and as a human being, you’re not meant to sit in front of a screen for hours and hours on end without a break.

Zoom’s not going anywhere, so let’s make our technology work for us, not the other way around.

Give yourself permission to take care of yourself.

One last thing: most people know what they’re supposed to do to prevent fatigue, but for one reason or another, they don’t seem to get around to it. If that sounds familiar, it’s worth taking a look inside and figuring out what you’re willing to do differently to support your well-being now and in the future.


  • Dr. Robyn McKay

    Psychologist + Executive Coach for High EQ Leaders

    sheology by dr. robyn mckay, llc

    I help high EQ leaders in tech & healthcare rise above uncertainty + lead from their mission, vision, and purpose.

    About Robyn McKay, PhD

    Robyn McKay, PhD is an award-winning psychologist who provides executive leadership coaching, advising, and training to Fortune 100 companies, including Nike, Honeywell, Intel, and Caterpillar; as well as innovative organizations in healthcare and the pharmaceutical industry.

    Emotionally intelligent physicians, engineers, and other top performers providing leadership and expertise during the unprecedented times we're living in are working with Dr. McKay to support the own mental and emotional resilience of themselves and their teams so they can rise to today's challenges, and be poised to meet tomorrow's.

    Dr. McKay’s perspective on the pandemic of 2020

    While nothing we’ve experienced has truly prepared us for the uncharted waters we’re currently navigating, Dr. McKay believes that, as innovative and creative humans, we have been uniquely wired for the challenge.

    Right now, she is committed to helping innovative leaders and organizations quickly adjust to the dynamic climate, encourage resilience and instill hope the world's most valuable resource – our people –, and to capitalize on unexpected opportunities to innovate and lead, like never before.

    Dr. McKay holds a doctorate in Counseling Psychology from the University of Kansas. She is a licensed psychologist in Arizona. All of Dr. McKay’s trainings are based in the science of positive psychology, including topics such as mindfulness practices, resilience, restoring hope, mindful communication, values, strengths, purpose-driven leadership, and innovation. Dr. McKay is experienced at guiding people through difficult times; she has counseled and supported people affected by the terror attacks on 9/11/01, the myriad of school shootings, and the financial crisis of 2008, not to mention thousands of people with seemingly ordinary problems who seek restoration of their most vital asset of all: hope. Learn more about Dr. McKay right here: