How to Stay Focused During a Video Call
Meetings are an important part of office life, no matter where that office is. However, instead of heading to the conference room for meetings, as a remote worker, you may be meeting for a video call.
On a video call, just like in-person meetings, it’s easy to get distracted.
To help you stay focused and keep your mind from wandering during a video meeting, check out these tips.
Eat a Snack
The best way to stay focused during a video meeting (or any meeting, really) is to fuel up before the meeting!
It’s difficult to concentrate when you’re hungry. Eating a healthy snack and drink before you meet will help you focus.
Taking notes is probably the easiest way to help pay attention during a video call. If you’re not focusing on what’s being said, how will you know what to put in your notes?
But, to really stay focused, take notes the old school way: with paper and pen!
In today’s digital world, you almost always have a full keyboard and note-taking app available, so using a pen (or pencil) and paper seems, well, quaint. However, research shows that taking notes by hand not only helps you focus on what’s being said, it also helps you remember the information better than taking notes via a keyboard.
Depending on your set-up, you may have other screens nearby. This could be a second or third monitor or your phone. Even if you only have one screen and no phone, you may have several other tabs open on your computer’s browser.
To maintain your focus, eliminate these potential distractions. Put your phone on airplane mode or silence all incoming calls and notifications. Close all your “extra” browser tabs. Even if they’re minimized or hidden, the temptation to peek may be too much. Also, consider putting your video call in full-screen mode to cover any incoming notifications you may have forgotten to silence.
Sometimes it’s not visual distractions that cause us to lose focus—it’s auditory ones. It could be anything from birds chirping outside your window to noisy construction, but we may not have any control over the noise around us.
Using headphones can help block out distracting sounds that might draw your attention elsewhere. Not only will it cut muddled sound, using headphones can also make it easier for you to hear what the speaker is saying, making it more likely you’ll focus on the meeting.
Volunteer to Help
Consider volunteering for tasks during the meeting to help you stay focused. Take the minutes, monitor the time, or even admit people from the waiting room. Whatever it is, having an active role in the meeting will help you maintain your focus.
Pretend There’s a Quiz
Similar to taking notes, pretend there’s a quiz at the end of the meeting. If you want to pass the quiz (and, of course, you do!), you’ll need to pay attention throughout the video meeting.
Finally, if you’ve tried all these tips and you’re still losing focus, talk to your boss about skipping some meetings. Even if you can’t skip them forever, a temporary break from some of the less critical meetings can help you recover from meeting fatigue and come back reengaged and more focused than ever.
Staying engaged and focused on meetings isn’t always the easiest task, no matter where we are. But, by eliminating distractions and taking a few steps to be active in the meeting, you’ll find yourself focused in every video call, no matter the topic.
For more tips and advice like this, check out our remote work articles.
By Rachel Pelta | April 30, 2021 | Categories: Work Remotely
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