Sitting for long periods in front of a screen is a recipe for inattention. Our brains simply can’t maintain peak alertness without regular stimulation of movement (our body, not someone else’s), active engagement (e.g. answering a question, engaging in conversation), or meaningful emotional experience.
Does that sound familiar to you? If it does……well, it could be digital fatigue. Digital fatigue is a state of mental exhaustion and disengagement when you’re using numerous digital tools, platforms and apps concurrently. Digital fatigue occurs for many reasons:
If any of this sounds familiar to you, well you’re not alone! In fact a whole new word has been recently coined to describe it…..”zoombies”. At Mortal Fools, we too sometimes feel like zoombies, as we try to navigate this new digital landscape and we experience fatigue every so often. However, we realise that this digital way of work is here to stay so we’ve got to figure out ways of making it work for us and looking after our brains and well-being, alongside fully embracing the projects, connections and new ways of working digital is enabling.
So, we thought we’d use this blog post, to share some of the strategies and tips to manage digital usage and mitigate digital fatigue from our Associate Mortal Fools practitioners. They are the ones that have been delivering our Mortal Fools digital projects, have sat in MANY Zooms and have a lot of learning to share!
Mortal Fools' Intern Maya Spencer-Jacobs shares her experience working with Mortal Fools over the last 10 weeks
I applied for the internship because I am really keen to gain an insight into the business and strategic side of the creative and arts sector and wanted to find out more about how companies were faring during such a difficult time. Having researched Mortal Fools, I knew they had continued to run virtual sessions innovatively and interactively online to keep members engaged. From the internship, I was keen to also be able to adapt to a remote working environment and improve my time management skills alongside my studies. In particular, I was interested to learn how to migrate data from legacy systems to build and populate a bespoke customer relationship system.
Starting a new role is always daunting, especially remotely; new people and new projects. Opening the greeting card which the Mortal Fool’s team posted to me on my first day, I realised there wasn’t really time to be nervous. My day starts earlier than most, as I am completing my exchange program with the University of Sydney remotely from the UK. By our 9am team meetings, I have already been up for 4 hours and am probably thinking about my second meal. The core team understand and value the importance in replicating the pre-meeting norms we were used to prior to lockdown. The low buzz chatter whilst making coffee with our colleagues in the staff room. A ritual which could easily be forgotten in virtual meetings, the core team ensure team check ins are number one on the agenda. We reflect on our personal struggles of the past week and if lockdown is impacting our mental health, before getting down to the nitty gritty.
It goes without saying the arts and entertainment industry is one of many industries which has greatly suffered over the past few months, and there is great uncertainty to when in-person sessions and performances with live audiences will be allowed to resume. However, what is certain, is that the Mortal Fools team having quickly adapted to using digital platforms and spaces and have planned ahead. Their next 6 months are sure to be action packed, fostering digital project after the next. As a summer intern, I’ve been working closely with the core team across multiple projects from seeking sponsorship to developing future business strategy. One of my intern tasks so far, has been to develop Mortal Fool’s existing audience focusedapproach, and take the reins with implementing a CRM (customer relationship management) system. This will allow the team to streamline their communication channels with individuals and stakeholders in the business and free up their time to focus on more creative tasks. While university modules can only take you so far in the theory of integrating such a system into a business, working practically with Mortal Fool’s diverse datasets has been insightful to put my database knowledge to the test.
Also, I’ve been involved with Mortal Fool’s business outreach strategy. We’re keen to spread the word about Mortal Fool’s activities and increase our engagement, therefore an important part to this has been monitoring our digital presence, including our website and LinkedIn to ensure that our projects are fully accessible. We’re keen to champion and share Mortal Fool’s work over the last year, and so I’ve also been creating advocacy booklets and reports to showcase the team’s hard work. We aim to use these resources to evidence why Mortal Fool’s is strongly placed within the creative sector to attract investment to continue to support our activities.
What have I learnt?
By Maya Spencer-Jacobs