Flicking the switch

I embarked on a battle some years ago, it's an ongoing one and not one I am destined to win.

Happily, it's now less of a battle, it's now a way of life, a stance towards entrepreneurship; a flag mounted in the ground.

This story started in 2017 before I had the understanding, training and experiences I have today writing this.

“The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself.” ― Friedrich Nietzsche

October 2017

I boarded a flight, ready to spend 5 days in Dubai and then on to the Maldives for 10 days.

I checked my emails before taking off.......all was ok! I arrived some 7 hours later to various missed calls and emails that had to be returned whilst walking to collect my luggage.

' Do you know when this client is paying '
' We had a problem but its now sorted '
' Can we book in a meeting as soon as you return '
' I know you're away but is there any chance.......'
' You are 2 weeks late and you have ruined.........'
' In the last 10 minutes, I have whatsapped you, called you 5 times, emailed you, text you, called the office and your out of office says you're away'  

I have always worked within construction (as well as coaching) and having thick skin is an entry-level requirement.

However, spending my honeymoon stuck in my sympathetic nervous system was not ideal.

I had a deep routed guilt of missing something important, and not living up to others' expectations.

I was terrified of being unavailable.

I would receive and answer calls and emails ranging from 6 am to 11 pm.

You might be reading this thinking ' that's normal, isn't it? '

Unfortunately, the answer is yes too often, I want you to start making that yes a no.

"You are not obligated to be available 24/7. Remember that you are a human being, not a machine. It's okay to take breaks and prioritize your well-being." - Mindful Communication

Always on

In today's fast-paced work environment, where technology has made us constantly connected, it has become normal for us to be available around the clock.

What always on looks like.....

  • Chronic Stress
  • Burnout
  • Distracted
  • No Family Balance
  • Poor Physical Health
  • Poor Mental health
  • Sleep disorders
  • Anxiety
  • Depression

Always being on and available can have detrimental effects on our health and well-being.

The constant pressure to respond to emails, take calls, and be available at all times can lead to increased stress, burnout, physical health issues and distraction.

Chronic stress is linked to a wide range of health issues, including cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, and weakened immune function.

The constant demands and expectations can leave us feeling drained and depleted, leading to reduced productivity and increased feelings of frustration and disengagement.

"The ability to disconnect is crucial to creativity and even to good leadership." - Arianna Huffington

By giving ourselves the space and time to disconnect from work, we can recharge, gain clarity, and approach our work with a fresh perspective.

Anxiety & Chronic Stress

I have had coaching clients and experienced waves of anxiety and chronic stress myself from always being on.

The swoosh of an email still today sends a wave of stress and anxiety over my body.

Several studies have suggested that the constant influx of notifications on mobile devices can lead to anxiety, stress, and other negative psychological effects.

For example, a 2017 study published in the journal Computers in Human Behavior found that excessive smartphone use was associated with higher levels of anxiety and depression.

Another study published in the journal Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication in 2018 found that email notifications, particularly, were a significant source of stress for employees.

Time to flick the switch

you should strive to have periods of unavailability

I am not saying don't answer your phone, respond to emails or always be unavailable.

I am saying be calculated, be strategic, plan your days and set realistic expectations. This balanced with active recovery, mindfulness and spirituality is a game changer.

Upgrade by:-
  • Stop measuring time, measure output
  • Calendar time for emails, social, returning calls etc
  • Set your phone up to remove notifications and distractions (Use an app such as Opal to help with this)
  • Integrate active recovery daily (Meditation, hypnotherapy, cold therapy, walking)
  • Set realistic expectations for yourself and others, it's okay to take longer than 24 hours to respond to an email!
  • Politely stand firm
  • Take your own medicine and don't be the one causing others stress and anxiety. Our biggest problems are the ones that never happened.

You will do more, feel more alive, be more connected, less stressed and less anxious.

Becoming more unavailable makes you more available


"The time to relax is when you don't have time for it." - Sydney J. Harris

Disconnecting isn't about not having hustle or grit, it isn't about working hard or achieving your goals, It's not even about relaxing.

I would argue that learning to disconnect is even more important to the high performer, the strivers, the gritty and the hustlers.

Disconnecting is about being and achieving what you want whilst being happy, healthy, optimised and bulletproof.

Its a structure, a way of living, sustainability, longevity

Turning the switch off regularly is a high-performance, state-shifting move.

It's time to step outside of that box!  

If  you are not subscribed already - Join Our High-Performance Newsletter and Unleash Your Full Potential