When Do You Enter The Creative Zone?

Ryan Estis
Contributing Writer
Keynote Speaking & Cooperate Training

217.

That was the number of new emails a sales executive I was working with had received during a day spent offline and off-site doing strategic planning work.

A dozen voice mails. “Add that to the list.” He shared, “I always have at least a dozen phone calls I need to return. There just isn’t enough time in the day.”

No there isn’t. Not at his pace. It isn’t sustainable. Just to put a dent into the 217 he’ll be online, after dinner with his family, until past midnight.

Earlier this month I was in Boston working with a group of small-business owners. Our research identified their biggest business challenge: Capacity. They simply run out of time. This situation isn’t isolated to entrepreneurs or big business sales executives. To the contrary, the way we are working, isn’t working, Tony Schwartz and Christine Porath argue:

“For most of us, in short, work is a depleting, dispiriting experience, and in some obvious ways, it’s getting worse.

Demand for our time is increasingly exceeding our capacity — draining us of the energy we need to bring our skill and talent fully to life. Increased competitiveness and a leaner, post-recession work force add to the pressures. The rise of digital technology is perhaps the biggest influence, exposing us to an unprecedented flood of information and requests that we feel compelled to read and respond to at all hours of the day and night.”

According to a survey by the American Psychological Association, “More than half of employed adults said they check work messages at least once a day over the weekend.” Almost the same number also did so before or after work on weekdays and during sick days. A full 44% even do it while on vacation. The American Time Survey found that 34% of those employed work on an average of one weekend day every week, rising to 43% in the growing ranks of the self-employed.

So often, we simply aren’t set up to accomplish anything meaningful in the office.

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