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The String #15: Zzzoom Fatigue, Productivity Formula & Musical Brain Training

Ventilating the struggles from digital overload, exploring true productivity & musical practice to train our brains.

Jonas Achouri Sihlén
Jonas Achouri Sihlén
4 min read
The String #15: Zzzoom Fatigue, Productivity Formula & Musical Brain Training

Photo by Fakurian Arts on Unsplash

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Hybrid Work & Zoom Fatigue

More than a year has passed since the pandemic state was announced all over the globe. This has led to a disruption in the workforce. Where more organizations join the shift to work from anywhere.

Even though there is a tendency for teams and organizations talking about going back to office, the work from anywhere situation is here to stay.

But there must be a balance. Enabling people to go back to office AND work from home, in alignment with their daily lives.

A recent report from Microsoft Worklab even unfolds another term: 'Hybrid Work'. A combination of both. A state that has lots of ups, but where challenges also seem to emerge.
One of the most obvious ones is the state of exhaustion. 54% of the respondents in the report confirmed they were overworked and 39% felt exhausted.

It is not a surprise that a reason for this is how we spend our days. Less movement and more screen time with meetings requiring our full attention and energy.

What happens to our productivity and creativity when we sit through meetings all day long?

There are conducted tests showing us how our brain activity is affected by back to back meetings.

For example, 4 meetings in a row without any breaks fuse more stress than same meeting series with breaks. Imagine having almost full weeks of this setup?

How Zoom fatigue can affect your brainwave activity 

What can we do about it?

Is there a way out of this rabbit hole? I am glad to state that we are in personal control of this. Before this turns into another pandemic with exhausted zombies dragging around in their homes we can do more than we think.

In addition to these three things to focus on you can also start taking control of your calendar by finding the rhythm that suits your situation.
Here are also a few good questions that you can start asking yourself and team mates to be more in control.

  • Can this meeting be shorter?
  • Do we really need to have this meeting?

You have also a personal responsibility to question, not only the length of the meeting, but your own attendance. Are you really required in this meeting? Usually the best meetings I have had are the ones with only a few attendees and they were really short.

How many people have been sad or dissappointed that a meeting ended before the scheduled time?

The True Productivity Formula

The term productivity has been misused for a long time now. I dare to say that it is mostly because of the industrialized culture from the 20th century that spilled over into the modern knowledge worker in the 21st century.

Don't get me wrong here, The Industrial Revolution has contributed to lots of good things. Plus I also believe I wouldn't be able to run this blog if it wasn't for the outcomes from the industrial revolution. But it is pretty obvious that the human race have taken over a bit of the expectations we have on machines. Especially when it comes to output.

In our digitally enabled creator economy, creative abilities are key for continuous growth. And what can boost our creativity more than the pure joy and intrinsic motivation of doing what we love?

I personally love this productivity statement by Ali Abdaal:


I remember I was fooled into the belief that productivity was all about getting lots of stuff done that other people have put into my bucket.
I couldn't be more wrong and I still mourn for those lost years. Even though they were full of learnings...

This is a more accurate definition of what productivity is which I hope you agree with.


Behind The Beat - Train You Brain With Music

It is more or less common knowledge nowadays that physical exercise helps us train our brains.

Another way, that seems to be even more effective in terms of full brain activation, is to play an instrument.

It is not only our levels of creativity that get boosted. There is also proof of better abilities to perform executive functions. Activities such as planning, strategy and attention to details seem to be triggered by crafting and playing music.

Starting to play an instrument is not only for kids.
Hey, I started to play the guitar just a couple of years ago. If I can do it, anyone can!

There are tons of great master-classes and excellent free online tutorials out there.

👉🏽 Here are 5 tips for anyone interested in getting started. 👈🏽

We are living in an age now when our age is truly but a number. There are endless possibilities to learn new things.

So go ahead; start to play & learn 🎵 🎤 🧠

Until next week.