Where is Your Focus When You WFH?
You need to learn to be selective about your connections. The newfound freedom of 24/7 connectivity gives you the ability to connect instantly. There is also a need to connect well. In the virtual environment, both context and content have to be aligned a little differently. You can read a great deal about the amount of time people waste online, creeping around vicariously observing. Some research indicates the Internet can be highly addictive. Other research says that technologies cause us to become lost in cyberspace (Cash, Rae, Steel & Winkler, 2012). If you search the term “Internet addiction,” you will find tests to determine if you are physiologically addicted to Internet browsing.
In the 1970s, parents used to say, “Teenagers today spend so much time on the phone.” Psychological distractions abound over the years: the telephone, movies, TV or the Internet. There are also sports, newspapers, radios and substances such as drugs and alcohol – if you’re inclined toward psychological escape you can find it with or without the Internet. These allow you to release your state of consciousness and drift off into another world.
What makes the virtual environment interesting and also what helps you to be creative is the ability to step beyond your definition of you. Carl Jung said we individuate; the Internet allows you to de-individuate, or have the ability to step beyond your previously defined perspective of who you are. Digital communication brings with it anonymity, which allows you to de-individuate. This gives you more freedom, more responsibility and less accountability. It is an environment that brings out the best and the worst in people. If you’re interested in cheating on your partner or pretending to be someone else, it is easier to do online. Want to waste time chatting when you should be working online, who will ever know? It is no accident that when you live online, you blend intellectual pursuits with work and play.
Aligning connections prevents you from losing focus and derailing your own success. The advertising industry connects with you in unconscious ways. Conscious connection is very different. When you watch a pharmaceutical commercial, you see lifestyle images of people who are happy; for them, life is easy, joyous and free. You never see a pill, a doctor, sickness or hospitals. Why? Because pharmaceutical marketers know that you don’t want to connect to illness. What you want to connect with is health and a vibrant lifestyle. You connect consciously and unconsciously. When you consciously connect with your intended priorities, you can align your connections to achieve them. The first connection you must make to be successful in the virtual workplace is with yourself. You have to be honest with yourself about your motivations, actions and intentions.
The biggest obstacle you face to aligning connections in the virtual world is missing this connection with yourself. You want to define your public and your private life. It is no accident that some people succeed and others just seem to bounce from goal to goal and from career to career. Focused consciousness is powerful; unfocused consciousness is what we all are living with a great part of our lives. When you drive, you can be in a state of detached consciousness. When you surf the Internet, you can be in that same state of mind. You are there, but you are not really there. Where is your focus?