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Filtering Virtual Spaces

Zoom, Meet, Team, Pod, Huddle... they all sound so collaborative, so energizing, but are also so exhausting, particularly as we navigate shifting schedules, priorities, and personal needs.

One of the challenges I have observed - and experienced first hand - the past few months is our ever-expanding need to connect. As the walls close in and our opportunities to extend our reach contract, the desire for "authentic" touch points has multiplied. What has resulted, however, is an unnecessary (and at times, unhealthy) lack of filtering in our virtual spaces.

Connections that used to be quick emails have amplified to phone calls, and phone calls that were once 10-minute debriefs have elevated to become 30-minute+ video conferences. Additionally, we are desperately working around competing personal schedules, which means the work day has no bounds and our recovery time has no safe guard.

Take it back. Say no. Resist the temptation to "Add Video Conference" to your calendar invitations and share your phone number or email address instead.

If there is a true and authentic connection, filtering its medium will not impact the quality of the connection - it may even enhance it. A good friend filtered me last week, and it was - in a word - refreshing. I felt liberated. So this week, I reciprocated. I turned down a video conference in exchange for a phone call. I made myself "unavailable" for a phone call and took care of business via email. These are the same choices I would have been forced to make six months ago as I ran from one flight and speaking engagement to the next. Just because we are in virtual spaces, does not mean our schedules are free range operations.

Filter your virtual spaces. Be intentional. Define your time... or your calendar will define you and your outcomes.


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