The Entrepreneurial Epidemic – Being Busy and Connected 24/7

Blogpost

Apparently a vast majority of us feel like we’re busy all the time and that our mobile devices are surgically attached to our bodies. We all know (and live) a version of being overly connected to our mobile devices and to our work. This is where the newest acronym was born: Fear of Missing Out (FOMO). I have to admit, there are some mornings when I check emails before I get out of bed. Can you relate?

Being “always on” is an epidemic today.

Last week, I came across an interesting study from a firm called Havas Worldwide (yes, a company actually did a study on what people think about being connected 24/7). The study explores how our always-on world has affected the way we live, work and think—as well as the ways brands can help people get the most out of their high-speed lives.

Here is a key finding in the study that really struck me. I’d be curious to know what you think of this too:

“Complaining about how busy we are has become a standard part of conversations, and yet fewer than 1 in 3 respondents always have too much to do, and only 1 in 5 say they’re constantly rushing around. Forty-two percent admitted they sometimes pretend to be busier than they actually are—and 6 in 10 believe other people are faking their busyness.”

 I didn’t make that up. …

Kind of makes you wonder if being “always on” is part reality and part habitual thinking. Either way, you do have a choice around just how connected you are.

Secretly (okay, not so secretly) I was hoping that the aforementioned study would point to the problems that many of us are experiencing by being overly connected – and offer us solutions. It did no such thing. Instead, it offers insights into brands that work well for over-committed, overly-connected people. I guess it’s just a fact and we need to manage it?

I say NO to that.

There are serious issues like anxiety and sleep deprivation that come from that omnipresent sense of being busy all the time. I’ve lived with both of these conditions myself and they suck. What’s more, we just can’t be our best in terms of being the creative visionaries that we are when we are always feeling like we’re “on” and running.

I’m interrupting this blog post to issue an important REMINDER: We work in the active outdoor lifestyle industries – by choice.

We chose to work in these industries for a reason. Giving ourselves ‘unplugged’ time on the trail, water, the bike or the rock, is when we get our best inspirations and ideas.

Chances are very good that you have some things that you devote time to each week that you could delegate or just stop doing if they are not helping you reach your goals. We get into our habits and just keep going, unless we stop to consider where all of our time is going.

In my coaching and mentorship of entrepreneurs with LivingUber, and in the management of my employees at Verde, I periodically issue a “calendar challenge.” Basically, I ask the person to track what they do for a week and then challenge them to delegate more, create efficiencies and really dig for tasks that are more “nice to have” and less “must do,” that can be removed from their habitual routines each week. It always results in time freed up.

Just recently, I discovered a new app that can do this for you called Rescue Time. … Caution, you may be floored by what you discover (and it will save you time from doing the old-school calendar challenge). Download this to your computer and it tells you where you’re spending your time.

Give yourself the gift of freeing up a few hours a week and don’t back fill those hours with more work. Instead, schedule in some play time, whatever that looks like for you.

Let me know if carving out more time helps you get more creative downloads and inspiration. You know, I really do want to hear from you! In fact, if you were to send me insights on my training posts, I’ll very likely feature them in my podcast or in a future training. You can send me a voice mail to the Speakpipe that’s on the podcast section of my site, or fire off your feedback to questions@livinguber.com.

Here is the link to the study I was talking about at the top of this post: http://goo.gl/Xbrbua