There are distractions everywhere
Unfortunately, all this does not happen automatically. There are many things that might distract you, whether it is a physical or digital gathering, which might make the entire meeting lose focus.
One participant has a slow connection and the rest of you, therefore, have to try to guess what he or she is saying in all the quiet breaks between the moments you can hear them. Someone is renovating the apartment next door from another participant and when the mic is not muted the loud noise from the hammer drill takes over and distracts from what the participant is trying to say. And on it goes.
Distracted by yourself
Some of us also become distracted by ourselves, not necessarily by our physical selves, but by the image of ourselves looking back at us in the digital meeting. As you will have well noticed by now, you not only see the other participants but also your own reflection. It is practical to be able to ensure you look your best, but perhaps you are one of the people who also get very distracted by seeing yourself like this.
The people who like their own appearance will unconsciously watch themselves just as much as they watch their fellow participants. The person who is not comfortable with how they look will be bothered by being constantly reminded of their perceived shortcomings and might try different angles and positions to find something they feel more comfortable looking at.
If you notice that you become distracted by your own “self-image”, hide it prior to the next digital meeting. You would never sit with a mirror in your hand during a physical meeting - and constantly seeing yourself in a digital version is no better use to you.
If you attend meetings in Zoom, click the little “…”-button at the top right corner of your video and choose “Hide self-view”.
If you do digital meetings in Teams, you go to the Me video menu, click on the ellipsis menu “…”, and then select “Hide for me”.
More focus, less distraction
If you have previously been distracted by seeing yourself in digital meetings, you will no longer have to become unfocused (for this reason, at least). You maintain your concentration with greater ease and can provide more value to the meeting as a whole.
What’s your way?
What else distracts you in digital meetings and what have you done to prevent yourself from getting distracted? If you have nifty solutions or tips, feel free to email me at email@example.com and tell me. In these digital times all ideas and solutions could be useful to others with the same problem.
Thank you for joining me today and see you in next week’s edition of Done!.