Published: 06 November 2015
How many times a day do you start playing solitaire or some other simple game on your computer while you are thinking of your business problems? Do you flee into cybersex? Are you a news junkie? It would be good for you to note the number of times you enter one of these sites for an unreasonable number of clicks can indicate that you are addicted to the computer or internet.
Why does this matter? If you are having difficulty making decisions, especially the decision to sell your business, this is an escape hatch for you. Playing a game during work time can provide you with a mind-numbing, reality-escaping occupation where all you have to do is win the game. Result: in this fantasy world, you feel successful or feel that you can be successful. Sometimes that is not the case in the real world.
I am not a psychiatrist but I think common sense can illustrate the problem to you. If you are overwhelmed by day-to-day business problems or if you feel discouraged about selling your business and everything you have to do to make this work, you will look for an outlet which provides some pleasure. If you find yourself unable to stop yourself from gambling, playing online games, visiting porn sites, or just surfing the news, this is a red flag indicating addictive behavior. If you can’t stop doing something which eats time (and frequently your brains, your pocketbook, or your character), you have a problem that needs to be addressed before it destroys you and your business.
Most of us love the internet and its possibilities. We get immediate news, we have access to information about anything imaginable, we can shop, and we are entertained. The problem arises when any of these actions displace the necessary things we must do on a daily basis.
Often, especially when you have to make an uncomfortable decision, the internet can provide you with a place where you can shift from negative issues and escape all of your problems, even for a few minutes. You find yourself soothed and comforted by false feelings of success and control. Your loneliness at the top of the company flow chart can be eased by social media. Other feelings such as boredom and stress disappear. . .at least for a few minutes.
Are you addicted? If so, what should you do—TODAY?
- Recognizing your problem is the beginning of the solution. First, see how much you use the computer/internet to enjoy a fantasy world. Then, consider why you are having that need. Defining the problem will also help you to control this type of addiction.
- Figure out what you can do to fix the problem (s) that you have identified in #1. Do you need coping skills? Are you having difficulty with the people around you? Do you feel unsuccessful and inadequate in all that you do? If your issues are taking over your life, you do need to see a professional who can guide you into a healthier lifestyle. If you deem that you can take control and fix your problems, then set out a game plan for yourself. Will you walk daily to reduce your stress? Can you work harder at listening to people and their ideas? Find something in your life (woodworking, writing, fishing, etc.) where you feel good about what you produce and then focus on that success. Be honest with yourself and you can find a solution.
- Gather people around you who like and support you. That physical presence of family and friends can dislodge any necessity you might feel for excessive social media actions. You can also find networks that you enjoy, such as business clubs, community education, or sports that can occupy your mind and body.
Often, we find that business owners who are frozen in place and unable to make decisions are stressed and in need of a nudge to move forward. Frequently, they do not admit to finding satisfaction online in a number of pursuits until we work with them to analyze their business day. It is a matter of pointing out lost and unproductive time when they begin to see the importance of control in their lives. They realize they need to control their day, not have the internet/computer take over. Then, once that is recognized, positive changes begin to happen.
Need some help? The Savickas Group is a network of experts in all aspects of business, especially selling a business. Call today and have a chat about what you would like to accomplish; we can help. If you are interested, we have written an ebook, FREE for the asking, about how to get the most out of your company when selling. Contact us for a FREE copy of Maximize Your Exit, 9 Tips to Capitalize on the Sale of Your Business: 1-888-210-8269 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks to Sarah for her creative commons photo.