Be honest: How does your job make you feel? Do you feel productive, energized, and eager to accomplish more? Or is each day a thankless, stressful slog through an avalanche of emails; a minefield of muddled messages and pointless meetings; a cacophony of dings, beeps, buzzes, and chatter; and an ever-snowballing to-do list?
If your stomach is in an anxious knot, it’s because these words resonate all too well. This is how most of us experience our work life. And the bigger problem, says Joe McCormack, is that we accept these conditions as normal—and thus we do nothing to change them.
“We think, This is just the reality of work in the Digital Age,” says McCormack, author of the new book NOISE: Living and Leading When Nobody Can Focus (Wiley, January 2020, ISBN: 978-1-119-55337-3, $25.00). “We’ve forgotten how it feels not to be perpetually distracted and overwhelmed. We’ve lost sight of the fact that work isn’t meant to be a gauntlet we run for a paycheck. It’s not supposed to be easy, but it also shouldn’t drain our life force.”