By the time this piece goes live, I will be on a boat somewhere in the Pacific Ocean with my two most favorite people in the world. My wife and I are (purposefully) leaving the internet behind for a week so we can simply enjoy time in the sun with our daughter. The rest of you fine people are great, but we’re not inviting you along on this one.
A handful of years ago it seemed as though the technologies that would enable us to be constantly connected to everyone, everywhere would be the holy grail of productivity. The unfortunate reality is that these incredibly helpful technologies make it very difficult for us to know when we are supposed to ignore them.
As a small business owner I value the ability to work from pretty much anywhere. It’s as easy for me to make sure payroll gets processed from my kitchen as it is to chime in with solutions for the crew in the shop while in Los Angeles for a speaking engagement. It’s as easy to coordinate the printing of a workbook for Simon Sinek from a pool in Phoenix as it is to craft an essay in my office.
The rub is that when you can work from anywhere, you have to be far more disciplined about choosing when not to work. The choice may be easy for someone who hates their work, but for someone like you, someone who is leaning into their very best work, the math gets a little more fuzzy.
If you are hoping for me to spell out the universally accepted working-to-not-working ratio, then I’m about to disappoint you. It doesn’t exist. Each of you is going to have to discern and monitor the relationship you have with connectedness and work so you can make dynamic choices from day-to-day and hour-to-hour to keep you on the right track.
It turns out that the difficult choices that face standout performers like you are difficult for a reason. It’s not your job to define a solution for everyone, but to wrestle with the problem for yourself and share your experiences when they can help someone else.
So go ahead and use technology to allow you to address a personnel issue from the airport lounge, but also recognize when you need to turn it all off and have a human interaction with an actual person about their plans for the future.
As for me, I’m on a boat.