The pace of technological advancement has increased dramatically, especially in the past 10-12 years. Of course, that’s no secret: from the introduction of smartphones to the explosion of social media, we’re more inundated than ever before with digital interruptions, increasing screen time and more ways to be reached anywhere, anytime.
What’s less clear is what all this technology is doing to us, personally and professionally.
Our goal with the podcast is to uncover the implications—both good and bad—of the new realities of the “Always On” world we live in.
We will explore it means to be productive and happy, as our Always On devices compete for our dwindling attention spans. We'll talk to business leaders, entrepreneurs, artists and employees of all age ranges—to understand how they excel, how they sometimes struggle and how they balance living in a world that's fully connected 24/7.
The first episode, featuring co-hosts Taylor Busby and Brandon Uttley of OkClear, gives more insights into what we hope to accomplish with the podcast.
Taylor Busby: This is the Always On podcast fromOkClear. I'm Taylor Busby...
Brandon Uttley: And I'm Brandon Uttley...
Taylor Busby: : And this is Episode 1 of the AlwaysOn podcast by OKClear. Thanks so much for joining us.
So here's the boilerplate description of what this podcastis all about. Ready for this, Brandon?
Brandon Uttley: Yes.
Taylor Busby: The Always on podcast will explore whatit means to be productive and happy in an "Always-on" world. We'lltalk to business leaders, entrepreneurs, artists, employees of all ageranges--and try to understand how they excel, how they struggle and balanceliving in a world that's fully connected 24/7. So that's kind of theboilerplate,right?
It's a highly talked about subject. You know Brandon, whatare your hopes that we can accomplish over the next few weeks?
Brandon Uttley: Well, I think you hit it right on thehead--productive and happy. Sometimes they seem like a conundrum, you know. CanI be productive and do a job and still be happy? And a lot of people these dayssay no-- you're asking me to work so hard... I'm never able to turn.off theworkplace...you can get to me whenever, wherever--and there's an unease andthere's an unhappiness that comes along with that for a lot of people. Now,we'll talk over the course of thispodcast as it evolves about some people thrive on that. They love that energy.They love being able to be connected all the time.
It has just, you know made their world better. Other peopleon the opposite end of the spectrum are you know at a real loss as to whathappens. What happens to the world where I could you know disconnect if youwill and be my own person and not be like you said a slave to the workforce orwhatever constantly. You know, you had agreat quote and you want to tell us what that quote was?
Taylor Busby: Yeah. I mean I read this quote theother day. It says. "I'd rather hustle 24/7 than slave 9 to 5
Brandon Uttley: Man. That's like written by GaryVaynerchuk. right? Probably . I mean we joke about that, but you know, he's thekind of person that thrives on the hustle and preaches that, and you know putsout that aura that, "Hey, I'm working 24/7." Now, I don't think thatis, you know a hundred percent true.
Obviously, he can't. He's got a family, he's got kids. He does turn it off, but during thework days, you know Monday through Friday, you would think the guy doesn'tsleep, barely sits down and is constantly going. And a lot of folks want toemulate that. Whereas there are many of us that are like, "I think that'scrap."
You know, when Idisconnect and unplug and you can't get ahold of me on email for a while, thatmight be because I'm actually being creative. I'm producing ...I'm doingsomething like this. I'm on a podcast. I'm producing the podcast. I'm writingcontent. I'm thinking...I'm being strategic. And I don't know that you can do alot of those things if you're constantly bombarded with messaging andconstantly distracted checking your inbox.
Taylor Busby: Well, I think this idea of hustlingimplies working really, really hard, right? And as an entrepreneur--I guess theentrepreneur in me, you know--there's a lot of appeal to that quote abouthustling 24/7 as opposed to just being a slave 9-5, right? That's kind of theultimate dream and and you know, I've always been a believer that hard work canreally fix most problems.
But I think it comes at a cost.
Brandon Uttley: It can certainly and you know,there's probably a lot of people that even though they are "slaving 9 to5," they're really not getting anywhere. And they feel like they're on ahamster wheel. So there's a lot of issues around that too.
Taylor Busby: I guess it brings up the question forme, you know, is this idea of working from 9 to 5...I guess I kind ofromanticize that idea. I think back about my earlier career, in which it's notthat people stopped working at five o'clock. I've actually never seen that withmost successful folks, but they weren't connected to a wider world.
Brandon Uttley: Yeah. Well maybe back then work quoteafter five might have been going to some business cocktail function or whateverand that of course that's still a thing to write whether you're doing it in thecity you work in or you went to a conference or what have you but I think yourlarger point is that it's no longer possible to work "9-5", you know,which is definitely romanticized--andthen have this unfettered period of free time, personal time, completely to yourself until the clock starts the nextday at nine. It's not not the case anymore, because if you're like mostpeople--me and you for example--you gohome, you're going to check your inbox at some point...and your business inboxmight be right next to your personal inbox and you're going to start seeingstuff that you feel like you need to address and take care of.
Taylor Busby: Cell phones and text messages and Slackand and Messenger and email and you name it. There's a million ways you can getin touch with me and chances are if you send me an email at 10 o'clock atnight, I'm going to respond. So I guess it begs the question though, is that agood thing? I mean, I know personally every successful person--I mean likereally successful person that I know--they seem to always be on, right? For thembeing accessible to work 24/7 is really kind of the rule and not the exception.
I guess the wrinkle in that though is that we've all hadeither bosses or worked with or for people that can do that gracefully,right? So, you know, they might answerthe phone at 8:30 a.m. on a Sunday morning. And they do it with a smile and youcan hear it. You can feel it. You don't feel the same sense of pressure thatyou might when you get an email from a boss (some bosses) after hours in whichanxiety just spikes through the roof as soon as you receive a message.
Taylor Busby: The fundamental question I have isthat, you know, we're not putting the genie back in the bottle and nobody ishere I don't think advocating for working a 9-5 workday. Maybe we are, but Idon't think so.
To me the question becomes, how do we strike a balance?Right? How do we strike a balance between our work lives so that we are moreproductive in the time that it really matters and in our home lives, right? Andthen what role does technology play in reinforcing the 24-hour hustlementality? And how do we fix it? Is technology really helping us to to worksmarter? Are we more productive or are we just.busier, right?
Brandon Uttley: And you know, one of my hopes forthis podcast is we get to talk some smart people about, "Hey what happenedto the concept with all this great newtechnology that was supposed to make us more productive, why are we stillworking--we're working more than 9-5 now!"
We're working more like 8-7 or more. And so, you know, whathappened to the idea that we were going to be able to shave time off our work?How come we're not working a 4-day work week, right? Or course, you know,everyone wants to do the Tim Ferris and work the 4-Hour Work Week, which is,you know joke, we don't know anybody that can do that.
Especially the ones that are more successful. They're theones that are more likely to work 80 hours a week then try to you know,compress it into four.
Taylor Busby: Elon Musk is the classic exactly. He'sbeen the role model. He's been the news lately for working 90-hour you knowwork weeks, but then again, I got friends who work in investment banking orwork for big law firms, and we're not talking about just tech companies. They work crazy insane hours...
Brandon Uttley: Makes you wonder what's what is itdoing to them? You know, was it doing to their bodies? What is it doing totheir minds, their relationships? So these are the kind of things we're goingto get more into, bring experts on here that we can you know pepper with thesetypes of questions and see--are we crazy to think that we are like you said,the genie is out of the bottle...Is no way to put it back in or is there a wayto push some of it back in some of the time?
Taylor Busby: Well put. So next week on the Always Onpodcast, Brandon and I will be taking a deep dive into this subject andspecifically I'll be picking Brandon's brain to see how he strikes a balancebetween a rewarding business career and his personal life. And as many of youwho do know Brandon know he's kind of a world-renowned tech guru--definitely anearly adopter of technology and applications and all things tech-wise.
And he's going to walk us through his personal journey as hewent from working a work environment in which he wasn't connected not 24 hoursa day to today, and those tools that he uses to be more productive whilekeeping his sanity
Brandon Uttley: Looking forward to it.
Taylor Busby: Thanks Brandon, and thanks everyone forlistening. Take care.