Are You Addicted To Adrenaline? If So, You're Hurting Productivity.
I work with a lot of entrepreneurs. I am an entrepreneur. My first very successful website was built in the 1990's before Google was even created. Sitting in front of my computer has been a big part of my day for the last 20 years.
The "rush" that entrepreneurs talk about is the place of "flow" where things come together, and seem effortless. When I used to compete in bodybuilding in the 90's, I tapped into this "flow." My workouts would go to a higher level, and things seemed effortless. As a copywriter, the "flow" is the place where we write really fast, words just fly out of our mind, and they are oftentimes the best we've ever written. As an author, the place of "flow" is amazing, when I can't type or write fast enough, and the ideas are pouring out so fast I'm learning even as I write!
Many times, when we're in that "flow" place, our adrenaline is high. It's an incredible place to be. But can we, as entrepreneurs, be addicted to the adrenaline rush to the point that we chase the rush more than anything else?
Adrenaline is a substance that is released in the body of a person who is feeling a strong emotion. It can be excitement, fear or anger, which means that there are both good and harmful forms of adrenaline. The heart begins to beat faster, and the adrenaline gives us more energy.
I hear people talk about the 'hustle' and the 'chase' in business.
Some boast of working 90 hours per week, and rarely sleeping, as though it's proof they are successful. But it doesn't take a rocket scientist to realize that if you put 1000 entrepreneurs in a room, just because people are chasing an adrenaline rush doesn't mean they're profitable or successful at all. Some are just addicted to the rush.
We can deceive ourselves, especially in a social-media world, keeping busy, doing three things at one time, having 19 windows open simultaneously, believing we're getting somewhere when we do this. We can buy into the cultural lie that truly successful people never rest, and the rush is the thing to chase. But before we know it, we're getting nowhere.
Facebook, Twitter, InstaGram, Pinterest and a lot of blog sites can stir up the adrenaline rush. Some have even called it the "Twitter Trance" or the "Facebook Addiction." A topic grabs us, a comment stirs us, we're chasing this, linked to that, and before we know it, three hours have gone by of chasing, but we have nothing accomplished. I see this in beginner business owners a lot when they say, "But I'm working all day and I am still not making any money!"
Were they actually working, or just being busy chasing adrenaline?
Just because someone can go fast doesn't mean they're accomplishing anything. Equally, just because a person is resting, it doesn't mean they're lazy. Studies have shown that to sit in front of our monitors, or on our phones for hours, doesn't mean we're accomplishing anything. Many times we've been sucked into the social-media vacuum or trance, where we're doing a ton of things at one time, but we're really not doing anything.
Are you addicted to adrenaline?
Here's how you can tell: Do you feel like a loser if you take a break? Find yourself never able to rest or relax, even at home, long after you've left the office? How many times per week do you find yourself in this vacuum of energy but eventually find that you've done absolutely nothing? This is a big clue you may have an addiction to "the rush ".
What can we do to be set free? For starters, set up some boundaries for yourself. Self-imposed restrictions have helped me incredibly. That means there are blocks of time on my calendar when I WILL write, and I WILL do research. These are not adjusted just because I don't feel like it. Not giving myself all day, or all week, to get something done, forces me to review where my hours are going and what I'm actually accomplishing.
Pay attention to the things that make you profitable. Interacting wtih people on social media and creating great digital content is important. But if you never ask for the sale, or post anything for sale, you won't make any money. All the commenting, culture building, content creating in the world won't end up creating a profit if you never get the credit-card number.
Another important tip is to mark down times in your calendar, and hold to these as steady as you do work hours. There should be times in your schedule when you are NOT allowed to work. Phone off, Facebook and Twitter off. Even if you're on Netflix watching a movie, take time to be all in on your rest times, and don't open your phone, iPad and whereever else you may be trying to sneak in other tasks. Focus on what you're doing. It's a lie that multitasking makes us more successful. If we're not careful, doing a ton of things at one time can make us feel like our brain has shut off!
Our brains are not meant for multitasking, and we're deceiving ourselves thinking we're getting more done. Having multiple windows open on your laptop doesn't mean you're necessarily multitasking. It could mean you're grabbing research and headline ideas as you write. The big key is, can you walk away and carry a coherent conversation, or do you feel like your brain was sucked out and you're imbalanced when you stop?
Some new studies show that multitasking makes us dumber, not more productive. Our brain can't filter out what's relevant and what isn't. We end up fuzzy and in a blur. This is why it's so important, if you work at an Internet-based or social-media focused company, to get up from your chair several times per day and walk around. Even if you just break your focus for a few minutes every few hours, you'll end up more productive than if you remain sitting and staring into your screen.
The rush is what keeps an entrepreneur alive! It motivates us and helps us find that flow. But an addiction or an inability to settle is destroying more business dreams than many people even realize. Take a few steps to be more powerful and productive. You'll be amazed by how much you do get done, in a short span of time, when you're focused and calm.
Faith works at work, and it takes faith to walk away from what is the norm in society. You were created to BE MORE, not live in a vacuum. Step away, take a self-check where you are today. Enjoy the flow and reject the adrenaline addicted habits that are holding you back.