Is this thing on?
Today almost all of our electronic devices have an always on feature. Smart phone, television, stereo, you name it: push a button or wave your hand and its ready to go.
Notwithstanding the power drain – which is bigger than you might think – this is a cool feature when it comes to tools we like and use.
Not so much humans.
The always on feature means your device is constantly running in a mode somewhere between sleep and active – a state just below ready.
Are you doing the same?
Tools & Trouble
Having access to the right tools – smart phones, web apps, Skype & Hangout, etc. – means even the smallest one-person shop can run their business efficiently in many cases more nimbly than bigger competitors. This is a good thing as efficiencies get passed on to the account in many ways.
Yet these same tools can also be dangerous if misused.
The availability of software and cloud services combined with ease of access through one device means we have the ability to be always on ourselves.
The question is, should we?
Recruiting has always been a relationship business. Recruiters are human and they need relationships to succeed. Now in real life, one thing that helps relationships is boundaries.
Remember the last time your partner went away for the weekend on their own? Felt nice didn't it? You were both refreshed by the break and enjoyed the reunion. Limits to each other's patience and goodwill? You know them.
You respect boundaries to enjoy healthy adult relationships.
Knowing when to give someone that space or downtime or just a little understanding is key to relationships. But if you're always “on” are you always your best?
We need boundaries around how we use tools as well. Just because we can reach out to candidates on Sunday morning doesn't mean we should. Just because we can go the opera with out Bluetooth in our ear doesn't make it a good idea. And just because our smartphone can reside in our bed at night doesn't mean its right.
I like to use my bedroom for just two things, one of which is sleeping.
The office can wait.
That low power drain of always-on eventually causes your device to fail earlier than it might otherwise but we don't notice or care because these tools only have a half-life of about a year before they're out-of-date anyway. So we replace them.
But we're not devices. We're people.
With friends and lovers and kids and hobbies and interests and passions and a whole life.
Or so it should be.
So think about putting yourself into Off mode more than you are now.
Think about getting back that free time that is yours and yours alone to squander on your interests and your friends. Think about letting that clients' call go to voicemail, that email remain unopened just for a bit, that hangout get missed.
Think about whether always on is always good.