Offline is The New Black
The brilliant Swedish advertising agency, Forsman & Bodenfors has recently launched a new social initiative created in collaboration with If Insurance company, called Offline o'clock. If Insurance sponsors and collaborates with the biggest Scandinavian social media profiles NOT to post anything after 10pm and encourages their followers to do the same. It's a great example to see how a brand can take on a social phenomenon and create meaningful content by standing for a bigger cause.
Forsman & Bodenfors' insight was that sleep deprivation leads to poorer health and causes more accidents. We all know that the usage of digital devices before going to sleep are effecting our sleep and life quality; blue light in the evening disrupts the brain's sleep-wake cycles and makes our brains into thinking that it is daytime.
As Niclas Carr says in his book The Shallows, “The net engages all of our senses,” and not only so, but it also “engages them simultaneously.” Internet and especially social media hijacks our focus by overwhelming (and overstimulating) our brain.
Being online is not the only state stealing our attention; the fast paced and hyper-competitive world of business is also a dead end for immersed focus and continuous creativity as an outcome. Not giving ourselves enough time, however understanding there is a different way to do our job might be familiar to all of us. The exhausting feeling of being driven by the work instead of driving it. At fierce competiton everything and everybody needs to be faster, bigger, better without experiencing the focused state of being. There is nothing wrong with fast paced and competitive working environment, however to keep up the pace, sometimes you need to ease on it.
All this isn't anything new, we are all aware of the loss of focus in the world of hyperconnectivity.
The new phenomenon is that people are more conscious about loosing their focus and seeking for change to improve their life and productivity. Companies, leaders and authors are trying to find new solutions and approaches how to optimise personal rhythm and find our very best and connected self.
Just to mention some, Wieden & Kennedy London trialling new work rules to end long-hours culture the agency, asking the staff to not send and read email after 7pm and work no longer then 40 hours a week. Daniel Goleman in his new book Focus talks about “cognitive exhaustion” which is caused by the massive amount of digital distractions and also claims that without finding ways to be focused we cannot reach success. Chris Bailey in Productivity Project conducts (sometimes extreme) experiments on himself to find his more connected and productive self. Not to mention the success of the former monk and Headspace founder Andy Puddicombe, who brought mindfulness to the masses and drove the start-up to huge breakthrough. Arianna Huffington dedicated her upcoming book to revolutionising sleeping. The Sleep Revolution will be published in a couple of days, it will be exciting to see her take on how to improve our lives and productivity by reforming our sleeping habits.
How do you balance to stay at your very best by optimising your personal rhythm? What is your take on finding some moments to switch off?
Creative leaders, are you helping your colleagues to be at their best and most creative self?