Not a resolution, but your distinct value as a knowledge worker

Everyone is hyper-stimulated these days, but as PR professionals, you feel obligated to be constantly plugged in. There’s always some news breaking that could affect your company or clients. There’s always another journalist, influencer, or interest group you could be checking on to notice an opportunity to deepen a relationship.

While other people check the news or social media for leisure or to kill time, for you, those things are your lifeblood!

And that means that you rarely – if ever – give yourself time to sit still and . . . think.

It doesn’t have to be that way. Shouldn’t be that way. Some questions to consider:

Which is more valuable to your executives or clients: you being up-to-the-minute right now, or you having spent 60 minutes pondering plans and new methods to provide more value?

When did you get your best ideas that have made the biggest difference in your job? Was it when you were checking email or staying current on Hootsuite? Or was it when you were in the shower, because that’s the ONLY time you are physically prevented from being plugged in?

What I’m about to share next will probably be jarring to you. You may even be tempted to dismiss it because so much of your identity is tied up in believing this is not true. But there is a huge opportunity for you when you begin to realize how much more you have to offer.

Virtually anyone can “stay current” and be “always on.” If that’s the way you define your professional value, you are fast becoming a commodity. There are legions of fresh college grads every spring who would love to get paid to push emails around and update social media.

Your distinct value as a knowledge worker comes from your ideas and your creative execution of those ideas.

And those ideas can’t come when you’re distracted 24-7.

One way I succeed at applying this principle is how I start my day. One way I suck at applying this principle is my continuously failing resolve to reduce screen use during downtime.

May you enjoy more success than suckiness with purposeful ideation and avoiding distraction in 2022.

This article was originally published on January 5, 2022

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