A recent study by the US market research institute, dscout, showed that the average person

  • turns on her smartphone 76 times,
  • touches his smartphone more than 2,600 times a day, and
  • spends 145 minutes on the phone within a 24-hour period.

Overall, the apps from Facebook and Google–including the Facebook apps, WhatsApp, Instagram and YouTube–get the most visits. (Study, June 2016: https://blog.dscout.com/mobile-touches).

Today, managers and executives are accustomed to being available for their company around the clock. Even in their spare time, most executives keep their smartphones on.


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However, many business people feel stressed out and cannot switch off properly and relax. They are finding themselves in situations where the company, the customer, the boss, etc. have become inescapable, an ongoing commitment–one that is even more important than their own families.

In a 2013 study by Mercer, about 150 executives were interviewed about their smartphone usage. The results showed, among other things, that:

  • 98% of colleagues can be reached after working hours, and
  • 70% use their smartphone professionally as well as professionally when at home.

As a result, the line between time for one’s profession and time for leisure has become blurred. People in management positions are constantly plugged in. Shutting down is not an option. (https://www.mercer.de/content/dam/mercer/attachments/europe/Germany/Brosch%C3%BCren%20HQ%20Forum/Stressfaktor-Smartphone-Ergebnisbericht-einer-Studie-von-Mercer-und-der -TU-M% C3% BCnchen.pdf).

The result: they become trained to react rather than to act.

Reacting means letting oneself be guided by outside forces and acting in a way based on what others want, rather than if it is the right thing to do or not. Because someone has asked for it. Because the social pressure is enormous. Because the job is ever present. Every sentence that starts with "I have to ..." shows the power of these external forces.

I know, today’s leaders need to deliver full performance, because you are measured on facts and figures. These seem to be the ultimate criteria in business. At the end of the day, it’s all about the annual meeting and your career depends on these criteria. So you have to be accessible at all times. If you are not, this could ultimately be regarded as inadequate performance.

But pause for a moment. Take a twenty-minute break once in a while. And reflect on why you need to constantly react?

Spend twenty-minutes and be unproductive? I know exactly what comes next: "I have no time for that!" Or "I have to write up the offer for my customer! It’s urgent!" Or "I have to give the CEO the key figures for the IPO, our most important potential client!"

I must ... I must ... But do you really have to?

What if you just say "no" and take this little time out? What would happen?

When I was starting my career, my coach at the time said a wonderful sentence that I will never forget.

One day we were just about to publish the press release of a listed company. We hadn’t checked the figures and then we ran out of time. The team became upset and overwhelmed and on the verge of the nervous breakdown.

My coach said to us then:

"In times of pressure, urgency and deadlines, ask yourself this question: Is anybody gonna die if you do not deliver on time?"


In 99% of cases the answer will be "no." That is when the coach made us take a twenty-minute break.

And do you know what happened? In this highly stressful situation, our manager and coach took the pressure off us. The pressure of imposed deadlines.

This twenty-minute time-out helped us pause to reflect upon what really matters in life.

Step away for twenty minutes from the external pressure of deadlines. Do it regularly. And especially when you’re under a lot of stress.

Because that is exactly the point. Do not let yourself be completely controlled from the outside, take your life into your own hands. Be aware of what is important in your life: to be free, to set priorities for yourself. In personal coaching this is exactly our goal.

As a HypnosystemCoach®, I will give you a look behind the scenes of your conscious self. Because right there you will find your real priorities. And then you can find the best possible strategy for your professional goals.

So you can enjoy more time in your life. So that you can use your time sensibly and purposefully–without staying continuously plugged in.



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