Thursday, July 28, 2016

Summertime unplugging

Remember the days that the summer was sort of a slow time in the commercial real estate industry?  I know there are a number of you who have grown up in the industry never having experienced that.  Technology has definitely been something to do with business communication being conducted the way it is today – nonstop!

This reminds me - In the mid-90’s when I was the first head of institutional third-party business for a shopping center leasing, redevelopment and management firm.  I had my first ‘cell’ phone and on Wednesday’s, when my girlfriend was off, we went to the beach – and I was able to stay in touch with the office and handle business – all the while laying there watching the waves roll in (Psst..Please don’t tell my former employer!).

Look how far we’ve come?  Is it ‘far’ in a positive way?  I’m not so sure. 

Now we are capable of being totally and completely connected, 24/7 as it were.  It takes discipline to ‘unplug’ – even on a real vacation – some say it’s not possible for them to do that – except when “I’ll be away and will have limited access to email…” or ‘I’ll be on vacation and will not have any Internet access…” is the case. (Although there are Internet cafes in many places in the world – even in Monrovia, Liberia, which I’ve visited twice).

“Tell us Steve, how can we unplug with so much going on?”  My answer:  (a) some stuff can wait; (b) some stuff others can handle for you (yes, believe it or not, you’re not indispensible!).

“What do I do, asked me one attorney, when a client texts or emails me over the weekend?”  “Don’t reply.”  Once you reply, they’ve got you.  They know you’re online and they won’t let you go – there goes your Sunday!

Don’t you agree that there are very few truly URGENT matters – yes there are some but have we slipped into a MO (Modus Operand) where we believe that everything is urgent and must be handled immediately?  I fear so.

Some time back I learned these concepts I pass along to you – about ‘there’s always tomorrow,’ don’t rush through yellow lights, listen and don’t finish people’s sentences, slow down and appreciate life.

Sure, it's not easy – no change in behavior is – there ‘s the theory I’ve mentioned here before (I think) that replacing a habit you want to get rid of with a healthier one takes 21 days.  You know, I just realized that even though I’ve read that several times I’ve never actually tried it.  Hey, there’s no better time than now.  I’ll just need to identify the one of my crappy habits I’d like to replace and focus on it.  Let’s see – how about I start with listening more and not interrupting or finishing other people’s sentences?  Yes, that’s the ticket.  Stay tuned!

The Chrysler Building, NYC on a beautiful summer day.  My dentist's office was in the top section where the little windows are.  In her waiting room you could sit and have an incredible view of The Empire State Building down to the tip of Manhattan

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