It helps to set up a timer for the meeting. It turns out that we don't need exactly 1 hour meetings and a lot can be resolved in 30-45min or even less. Having a timer that reminds everyone that the meeting is not endless brings focus on getting to the outcome faster.
There is this Stanford News article that is absolutely amazing and provides some solid tips regarding this:
It looks at why you are losing focus and some steps that you can take in order to avoid it, many of the tips I haven't seen anywhere actually. For example taking more distance because of the cognitive habit of having more distance in natural conversations.
Besides that you should also always look at why meetings are taking so long, maybe instead of doing 1 big weekly meeting doing 2 separated shorter meetings over the week allows you to get more out of them!
Hope this helps :)
for zoom calls - I guess to keep your camera on and know exactly when it ends and what is the outcome of every call you have. When it comes to know how to increase your focus in general, I found this video very helpful - Dr.
Andrew Huberman is a professor at Stanford and he recently launched his podcast where he explains how to hack motivation, focus from the neurological point of view - totally worth to watch it until the end
I think meetings should not last more than an hour. Because you can stay focused on what you're doing, but after an hour, you often become less focused.
Of course this is my personal point of view. We applied this in my startup and we are much more efficient 🙂
I struggled with this and I think turning your camera on helps, but then on the other hand, it leads to more burnout (standford just brought out a study on this). I try to have a clear agenda, know why I'm there and what I need to add and where. Also do you need to be in these meetings? Sometimes these long meetings have lots of people, but that aren't needed for the whole duration, or not needed at all. Interested to hear more about your experience!
As an engineering manager, I do a lot of 1:1's every week on Zoom. What works for me in 1:1s is keeping the camera on and looking at the other person, in a full screen mode.
For team/group meetings, I usually take notes to stay engaged.
I use a video call app dedicated to remote selling that optimize my focus on the meeting. Solutions like zoom, teams.. was good during the first period of the pandemic but now there are a lot of others solutions.
Ah, great question, here are might goto steps in making zoom meeting productive:
*on the business side:*
- don't schedule calls that could have been an email.
- create call agenda and share it with participants before the meeting (at least 24 hours before)
- outline what questions you'll be asking and what sort of support you need from your participants
- if anybody else will speak besides you, assign talking points to them in your agenda
- keep the call short under 30 minutes
- create call summary once you're done
- follow up with participants same day (within few hours) after the call
*on the personal side:*
- be well rested
- be fresh
- be motivated to have this call
- add call reminders 1 hour before the call
- do less calls (leave only important zoom calls)
- delegate non-important zoom calls
Lack of focus is often due to the meeting structure or the presenter and not your fault at all. We're all pretty similar in our ability to pay attention (not very long) so making a meeting interesting to everyone should be the organiser's top responsibility.
So maybe give constructive feedback on how to make it more interesting (your colleagues will probably feel the same so they'll be thankful).