The “Cult of Busy” – Adapting to the 24/7 Workplace

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Functioning in a Work-First Culture

Erin Reid coined the term “cult of busy” to describe the way our workforce has become: jobs come first in the hierarchy and constant availability is the expectation. With the increased ability to always have your work at your fingertips (e.g. email linked to your phone), the assumption of 24/7 accessibility has only intensified – and continues to do so.

Working all the time should lead to more productivity, right? Wrong-o. Harvard Business Review and The New York Times have shared studies and stories of the problems that arise from constant work – employees crying and passing out from exhaustion, high turnover rates, and lack of diversity among your workforce being among them.

So how are we coping with this ever-growing demand for the 24/7 workplace? Quite disfunctionally, as discussed by Huff Post writer Emily Peck. She talks about three ways we are “adapting” to the work-all-the-time demand.

1. Accepting
Just give in and work all the time. Give up the deep relationships, community engagement, and physical well-being for the job. Just keep plugging away until you reach the burnout stage.

2. Passing
The “fake it” strategy for coping. Technology makes it easy to be working wherever you are…and equally as easy to fake that you are working wherever you are. Talk about a large window for rampant disengagement.

3. Revealing
Some people actually ask for flex time and limits. However, this is often met with penalties and/or disappointment for not always putting work first. “Are you going to be a professional or are you going to be just an average person in your field?”

So now that we are aware that this is the culture we are currently working in, what do we do about it? Emily mentions that the only solution is through collective action – banding together to try and make collective movements toward recognizing the “always on” moments, finding bosses and co-workers that don’t work weekends, and stopping the scheduling of meetings at 5 p.m.

Read more about the effects of the 24/7 workplace: 3 Dysfunctional Ways We’ve Adapted To The Hell Of The 24/7 Workplace

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The Powerful Word that Changed Tom Hank’s Career

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The Power of One Word

As one of the most recognized and honored actors of all time, Tom Hanks has walked quite the interesting road. But he didn’t hit home runs like Cast Away right off the bat. If you lovingly remember the early days of Tom Hanks – e.g. Money Pit, Turner & Hooch, Joe Versus the Volcano – he didn’t start out his career raking in the Oscar nominations. So what helped him get to his first, second, third, etc. Oscar nominations? One word: no.

“I realized…that I had to start saying a very, very difficult word to people, which was “no.” The odd lesson for that is, I figured out that’s how you end up making the favorable work you do…. Saying yes, then you just work. But saying no means you made the choice of the type of story you wanted to tell and the type of character you want to play.

Justin Bariso, the founder of Insight, writes how finding the power of “no” impacted not only his life, but the life of his family as well.

“When I started my business some years ago, I literally took whatever work I could get my hands on. Living in a foreign country with a family to feed, I had no choice. But as time went on, I established my brand and gained more freedom–especially in deciding which clients and jobs I wanted to focus my efforts on. And let me tell you, there’s no better feeling than having that freedom. But you have to take advantage of it.”

But just saying “no” to everything doesn’t get the job done. It is saying “no” strategically. Take a moment to think about your decisions. How will this choice affect me and my loved ones? How will it impact my bottom line? Will saying yes to this eliminate the opportunity to say yes to something else more important? Does saying yes add value to my time? Evaluate each instance and decide if no is the right way to go.

Want to read more about Justin and Tom’s take on saying no? Read the full article here.

Need more inspiration? Here’s the beloved piano scene from the movie Big with Tom Hanks. Enjoy.

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Find Your Gorilla: Career Lessons from Sir David Attenborough (LinkedIn Pulse)

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Find Your Gorilla

Sir David Attenborough (who just turned 90 years old this week – happy birthday!) is a British naturalist and documentary maker. He has captivated children worldwide with his television programs and documentaries on the wonders of nature. His career has not only been a very public one, but it is one that he has filled with his own passions. And it is a career that has inspired many children around the world to follow in his footsteps.

Richard George, contributor to LinkedIn Pulse, identifies three lessons that we can all take from Sir David’s incredible career. All of us may not be interested in travelling the world, studying animals and plants, and sharing those findings with the rest of mankind, but we can certainly find our own dream roles full of interest and passion – we can find our own gorillas.

Three lessons from Sir David’s career:

1. Find your passion, or something that drives you
Figure out what it is that gets you out of bed in the morning. You may not currently be working in your dream role, so find aspects of your job that allow you to expand on your other interests. Sign up for a more creativity-based project, take classes in a skill that you have not quite developed yet, or work with people that can teach you elements of your job that you have never explored.

2. Take risks
Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone. As Richard points out, “the greatest and most wonderful things we do often happen as a result of putting ourselves at risk and grasping the things that scare us.” Do more things that you would normally shy away from, such as public speaking or leading your coworkers. Test new ideas. Reach for that promotion. You may not succeed every single time, but you will certainly learn crucial lessons all along the way.

3. Don’t worry so much about what clothes you wear
While presentation can be important, it is your content and connections with others that matter most. The more distractions we can eliminate, the more barriers to communication we can break down. Find something that works and stick with it. Then move on to bigger and more important decisions.

Read Richard’s full LinkedIn Pulse article here. And for more about Sir David, check out his biography.

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Back It Up! Protect Your Data (Infographic)

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Infographic created by AM Transport’s IT wiz, Corey McDonald

Here Lies Data Never Recovered…

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Need more information or help on getting your data backups going? Visit World Backup Day.

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Shared – 17 Habits of an Effective Salesperson

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I had something else planned to post for today, but I ran across this blog post from David Ly Khim earlier this morning, and I thought it had great information – both for sales and non-sales people.

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17 Habits of an Effective Salesperson

Khim gives 17 habits that their research team discovered from the most effective salespeople in their own company. And while some are sales-specific habits, many of them can be adapted for whatever role you may have in your own organization.

The 17 Habits

Each of the habits Khim listed provides some great advice. The ones below in particular are applicable in many arenas and are often greatly under-utilized.

2) They prepare ahead of time.
Be prepared. It seems like a silly thing to say, but many people underestimate how damaging it can be to your first impression and professional persona when you arrive unprepared.

4) They know their product.
Do you know what your product (or service) is? Do you know how it compares to your direct competitors? Why should a customer choose yours over others? What value does it provide? How customizable is it to different customers’ needs?

6) They constantly build personal relationships.
Building trust with a customer goes beyond the simple transaction. Learn about them – what are their struggles, goals, hobbies, interests? Understand how you can help in ways that go above and beyond good customer service.

8) They don’t try.
After meeting up with objections and rejections over and over again, it can be easy to slip into the same old routine. Keep yourself energize and excited. Each new person you talk to is a new opportunity to listen and learn. Be sure you are in it completely each time.

9) They actually listen.
Many sales people get stuck on their own scripts: “I came here with a message to say and I am going to say it.” Instead, listen to what your prospects and customers are saying. You need to present in the conversation, but that doesn’t mean you have to do all the talking. Listen.

10) They get their eight hours of sleep every night.
Or 6, or 7, or whatever your number may be. Figure out how much sleep you need to be at your best, and do whatever you can to make getting that number each night a priority.

11) They believe in what they’re selling.
This ties directly to #4. If you know what value your product or service can deliver to your customer and you believe in the words you are saying and the messages you are sending, then your customer will be more apt to trust and listen to you.

12) They’re purpose-driven.
Why are you in sales? What motives and drivers you professionally? What is your purpose, for yourself and for your company?

17) They view their customer’s success as their own.
See #9, then #6, then #8. Listen to your customers. Learn about them and build a personal relationship. Then try. Know how you can help your customers achieve their goals, solve their struggles, and become successful in their own companies.

Be sure to check out the other habits, they are good too. Read the full blog post here.

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