If you ever needed a reason to reduce the number of back-to-back meetings you have, then Microsoft has just offered you one.
In the study conducted with 14 participants, Microsoft's Human Factors Lab* subjected their volunteers to four, half hour meetings each focussing on a different tasks. On one day, the meetings were run back-to-back, and in the second the meetings were interspersed with 10 minute breaks where people used the time to meditate.
As you can see from the EEG illustrations above, the results were pretty clear. The team found that breaks allowed the brain to reset after each meeting, that back-to-back meetings materially affected the participant's ability to focus and engage and that jumping from one meeting to the next created a stress spike.
It is not uncommon for me to be coaching someone who has spent all day on Zoom/Teams with no breaks. Many of us no longer have the natural break that comes from walking down corridors or changing buildings. If we're keen to take an evidence based approach to our effectiveness and productivity, then it seems taking a short break between meetings is the way to go! Better still, filling that short break with meditation or being outside to catch a little sunlight will pay dividends in both your focus and wellbeing.
So... How can I integrate this into my coaching? Well... I'm a huge advocate of mindfulness and whilst I don't start every session with a mindful moment, I reckon I should offer it more often. I sadly don't have a magic wand that can eliminate back-to-back meetings, but I can make sure that the ones with me give your brain a moment to reset.
For whatever reason, I'm sometimes a bit bashful about offering to lead a meditation, so if you're one of my existing clients who thinks you'd appreciate our session starting (or ending!) with a minute or two of mindfulness, then do let me know!
As always, thanks for stopping by...