Is the Internet Assassinating Your Business?

“The Internet lives where anyone can access it.” – Vinton Cerf

A common dream of our readership is the ability to work remotely–with just a laptop and an internet connection. Whether it be just working from home so you can skip the commute or living in some exotic location, many people desire this type of freedom.

Roberto and I are no exception. We have very deliberately shifted the focus of our business from an offline training company, to an online training company.

As I’m sure you know, Roberto is from Brazil and he wants to live part of the year in Brazil with his family and building a business with the majority of your work depending on one geographical region would not allow that.

The same is true for me.

One of my driving forces is adventure.

I LOVE to travel.

One of my first jobs as a young adult was creating and executing health club promotions around the country — I was required to relocate to a new city every 20-40 days.

Add to that the years that I traveled for the Anthony Robbins companies and I can safely say that I have lived in almost every major city on the east and west coast.

I have also lived in Australia, Mexico and plan on living in Brazil in the next year.

Building a business that supports that life style depends heavily on the internet. Not only for marketing, coaching calls, product sales and project management but also for communication with family and friends.

The internet is paramount to the life style we have designed.

But can the Internet also be a dream killer?

I’m currently writing you from Rio De Janiero Brazil and the place that I am staying at has mediocre internet AT BEST!!

Over the last couple of weeks I have had a series of total internet black outs!

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No email.

No Skype.

No Facebook.

In the first couple hours I noticed that I was constantly checking my phone to see if the I had email (even though I knew the internet was out).

I was acting like an internet addict.

I was thinking of ALL the ways I could score myself some internet:

…is there a starbucks near by?
…are any of my friends that have internet here home?
…I wonder if mobile phone companies sell an USB adapter for 3g internet?

After doing this for awhile I finally came to terms that I didn’t and wasn’t going to have internet for the rest of the day.

I bravely went through my internet withdrawals…

I thought for sure my world was going to implode.

Guess what?

It didn’t.

In fact, a few of those days were MY MOST PRODUCTIVE days I have had in a long time.

That experience really forced me to look at the relationship I have with technology and the distractions it provides.

By not having internet and all the bad habits that come with it, I was really able to:

  • focus on and get my tasks done a lot faster.
  • spend more time ‘thinking’

I wondered how come?

I mean, I consider myself on the vigilant side when it comes to time management.

I really put some time into figuring why was I so much more productive? (… I actually had time left over at the end of the day.)

Here’s what I came up with:

The reason I was so much more productive was NOT only because of less distractions, but because of a less obvious reason.

It’s called “Transition time”.

Transition time is the amount of time it takes you to “shift gears” from one task to another and get in the “zone”.

Every time you check your email or Facebook not only do you run the risk of getting off task, but you also have to get yourself back into the zone.

I did a little research and experts estimate it takes anywhere from 10-20 minutes to become fully engaged in your task at hand once you begin.

So if you are the average person who checks email or Facebook 6-10 times a day, that is at least an hour to 2 hours of transition time a day. That doesn’t even factor in the rabbit whole that checking email can send us down.

If you are working 5 days a week, that is an extra 5-10 hours a week that you could be working ON your business.

I’m not suggesting you completely cut these activities out, most people have to check their email at some point in the day. But what I’m offering you is the opportunity to become more aware of how your internet addiction is effecting your productivity and essentially your wallet.

If you are the adventurous type, try ‘unplugging’ yourself from the internet for a whole day and see what you discover about your internet habits and your productivity.

If you believe you are spending too much time doing these things, here a couple suggestions to get this under control:

  • When planning your day, schedule in your times to check email.
  • If you aren’t using Facebook for business then only check Facebook after business hours.
  • When you schedule time in your calendar to do these activities–honor your schedule.

All of us only have 24 hours in a day — it’s one of the only resources where everyone has a level playing field. It’s what you accomplish during those 24 hours that shapes your results so spend your time on the tasks that are going to allow you to achieve your goals the fastest.

Though the internet has enabled many entrepreneurs’ dreams to come true, don’t become the victim of this silent assassin known as the “dream killer”!

Signing off and logging out!!

Jeff

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