Now in the third day of my weeklong vacation and I’m finally noticing a change. It started this morning when I put on my favorite wide-brimmed hat, a slather of sunscreen and my walking shoes. I just walked. And walked. And walked.
Having just completed a number of intense business negotiations and a series of back-to-back trips, I really needed this trip. I admit I started to get a little paranoid when Diane MacPhee, a personal coach for advisors and a former advisor herself, said twice in one conversation while we were both at the T3 Technology Tools for Today conference that I should remember to find some time for myself in between all the hustle and bustle of a successful business life. “Go get a massage or something,” she called as I rushed down the hallway to catch one of the conference speakers.
As began my walk on the beach this morning, I noticed my thoughts were thinking me. The old gray matter kept running through its endless mental checklist, which included problems to solve in my business, people I needed to thank, tasks that were left incomplete before my flight left Kansas City (including this Marketing Maven contribution), and a to-do list that never seems to end.
I thought about pulling out my iPhone and dialing in to the Monday Morning Huddle my team always holds on a weekly basis. That’s the curse and the blessing of living in a digital world – we can be connected just about anywhere to anyone whenever we want (or don’t want).
Somehow the winds and the waves prevailed and I just kept walking. Soon I began to hear the sound of the gulfs and the waves. I noticed the kids playing on the beach and how beautifully emerald green the water is in the Florida Keys.
I stopped for a morning latte and it tasted so much better than the one I had chugged down in the airport the day before. The wind brushed across my arms. I closed my eyes and smelled the saltwater air. I felt my lungs rise and fall. As my daughter ran up beside me smiling, I noticed anew how beautiful she is, as she tugged at my arm and asked to stop at the little island gift shop.
Today, we as business owners and successful professionals are more distracted than ever due to information overload, the speed of information, and the ability to stay connected 24/7.
"One of the great paradoxes of the Digital Age is that we humans have never been so connected yet disconnected at the same time," says Steve Saenz founder of Fusion Impact Marketing, a distributor of video email and communication tools for financial advisors. "The very tools that have brought us together when it comes to communicating have pushed us apart when it comes to interacting with others. Like it or not, we live in a high-tech, low-touch world. Our daily diet consists of rich media sound bites, which are coming at us like heavy snow on a windshield. Some would argue that we are approaching 'whiteout' conditions."
Saenz is an advocate for the use of video on websites, blogs and social media sites. He is also an evangelist for the use of personal video email and for video conferencing as a way to cut through the digital noise and help people connect in more meaningful ways. I’ve been on a couple video conferences with Saenz and a handful of others in one of the virtual meetings he routinely hosts; it’s nearly impossible to multitask and get away with it.
SELF-CARE BOOSTS HEALTH AND CREATIVITY
We don’t yet know what the long term effects of multi-tasking will be but we do know this – there is a practical limit as to how much stress the human body and mind can take before it starts affecting our health.