The struggle is real. I don’t need to tell you that our addiction to an “always-on” culture is very high. I don’t even want to admit it myself!
How many times have you answered or sent emails and texts outside of work hours and even while on vacation? Have you ever done so and thought, “They don’t need to open it. I just want to get this off my list.”
We unconsciously forfeit our ability to be present due to fear of:
- Being punished by our boss
- Losing status, losing clients
- Being judged
- Delegating to someone else (who might not do as good a job)
What are the real costs of the need to feed our “always on” addiction?
1. Lack of sleep
Many people I work with tell me “I can’t sleep” or “I am fine. I really don’t need much sleep.” As your consciousness is raised, you may soon realize you have created a sleep cycle that is contrary to your natural rhythm. Have you ever woken up with “workmares?” Been jolted out of your sleep by reminders about an important meeting, presentation or work conflict?
- Are you running off 4 to 6 hours sleep a night?
- Do you wake up feeling tired?
Sleep deprivation will cost you as it results in lowered stress thresholds, impaired memory, difficulties with concentration, decreased optimism, and reduced creativity. Do you really want sleep deprivation to negatively impact your concentration, positivity, or creativity? When we unconsciously give our time away, it is challenging to see how we could work in other ways. How much longer will you to let your outerworld run your time?
2. Lack of Exercise
We move less and meet more and it is producing some pretty alarming numbers.
The Association for Professional Executives (APEX) found that 43% of executives are considered obese. This is an all-time high! Half of all executives are now considered sedentary, which is up from 32% in 2007. Several leaders have eagerly told me about the new employee surveys and new health surveys coming out in their organizations. Things are only getting worse. As conscious leaders, it is time for change.
3. Relationships Suffer
No one has ever said on their deathbed, “I wish I’d put more time in at the office.”
Still, our 24/7 modern life demands high-level performance for sustained periods of time. Our relationships are often the first casualties of overwork. When you are driven to have an impact in your workplace, you are often in denial about the deterioration of your relationships. I often hear excuses that seem to sanction overwork including “we need to send the kids to private school,” “the boss demands it,” “we have quality problems and I have to fight fires,” “I’m keeping us relevant,” and the list drags on. When we are leading consciously, we choose to notice the impact our choices are having on our lives and the lives of those we care about. We move from lacking awareness to leading differently.
4. Your Health
Due to a lack of sleep and exercise, our inner world can start to crash, clouding how we experience and interpret our outerworld. With the demands of work and life stretching our will and our sanity, we can go from bright-eyed and bushy-tailed to burnt-out in a SNAP!
We don’t need to be executives to experience stress, anxiety or depression. Our reactive way of leading and living is fuelled through our interactions. Yet, we still seem to be waiting for more devastating proof to prod us into taking care of ourselves. Maybe another health survey or one more statistic will do the trick.
Raising your consciousness and, in turn, improving your health requires studying yourself and taking control of how you make decisions that affect the mental state of yourself and others.
Our health is of the highest value and we no longer want to exchange it for stress, fear, anxiety and depression.
5. Your Impact
I know you want to get ahead. I know you are passionate about what you do. I know you like the excitement of the hustle, and I also know that you struggle with it at the same time.
When your habits keep you from sleep, exercise, meaningful interactions, or healthy relationships your ability to make the impact you desire is being affected. Your self-confidence drops and you start to doubt your abilities. The way we choose to use our time significantly affects the quality of your life.
So what is needed to make the changes you desire to happen? Conscious communication.
If you question your confidence, credibility, or resilience even for a moment, I am honoured that you are reading this. Like me, there are countless others who want our impact to be the most positive, inspiring and authentic representation of us. The ebook below can serve as a reference to help us deepen our consciousness, courage, creativity and choices and to know the difference between our “always-on” habitual ways of living and a more present, empowering, enriching way of using our precious time. This ebook is about a process for change. It is about noticing your time through a different lens and about discovering conscious practices to minimize the stress, anxiety, and fear that rises when we feel like our time is not our own.