What do you do for an addiction you’re not even aware of?
And that’s why so few businessmen ever get beyond the addiction I’ll be talking about today.
Most addictions are fairly easy to spot: alcoholism, drug addiction, gambling addiction, pornography addiction and more have serious side effects that people recognize and want to treat.
But most businessmen—especially ones who love their family and career—usually don’t fall into the most obvious addiction traps.
They’ve got a lot going for them.
But that doesn’t mean they’re addiction-free. It just means their addictions go undiagnosed.
Driven, achieving businessmen have a socially acceptable addiction.
And it shows up in the way they work and tackle projects.
Want to know what this addiction is?
Symptoms of a businessman’s socially acceptable addiction
Let’s talk about the symptoms a man coping with this addiction will experience first. See if you fit the bill on any or all of these before we diagnose you.
- Chronic procrastination: Do you ever delay starting a project because you have no idea where to begin?
Do you ever have such a lengthy to-do list it feels impossible to prioritize correctly?
Or do you push yourself hard to get ahead only to fall behind again without the stress of an imminent deadline pushing you?
These are all serious symptoms of the addiction I’m talking about today.
- Being a beck-and-call man: Are you always willing to drop everything to answer an email?
Does a phone call or text interrupt your workflow for hours?
Do you let notifications push you to work on whatever you’re working on?
Availability to be at someone else’s beck and call is another symptom that this addiction feeds on.
- Never having enough time: One psychology writer said men who have this addiction are “strangely proud” of having so little free time.
These are the kind of men my business partner Bill apologizes to when he finds out how busy they are.
But being too busy is the third symptom of men with this addiction.
A ‘sleeper’ addiction
As you can tell from the symptoms, this is a real “sleeper” in the addiction world. While you may not like being a procrastinator, if you always pull through in the end when deadline pressure drives you, your life will never skip a beat.
Many business-to-business clients love the convenience of always being able to command and communicate with their contractors.
A life of chaos is devoid of true success.
And whether you’ve thought about it or not, you probably see being busy as a good thing. Something that keeps you out of trouble and keeps your hamster wheel turning.
Since these are acceptable or even seen as good too often, this addiction stays out of the limelight.
But high-powered businessmen like you have all the personality traits that make it easy for addictions like this to take root.
- A risk-taker
- Driven to success
- A novelty seeker
According to one neuroscience researcher, these are all traits borne by C-suite executives that make them prone to addictions—even the kind no one diagnoses.
So what addiction are we talking about?
Although, yes, a lot of high-powered men turn to the other addictions out there, I’d bet that almost every one of them has the addiction I’m talking about to one degree or another.
What is this addiction?
If you’ve been nodding your way through this article, you just might be addicted to chaos.
In celebrities, an addiction to chaos shows up as the constant drama and strange lifestyle choices that paint tabloid covers red.
But businessmen addicted to chaos have the socially acceptable symptoms I described above.
While that’s better, it’s still an addiction.
If you’re addicted to chaos, you probably run through your days frantic. “Chaotic” might be the first word that comes to mind when someone asks you to describe your business life.
In fact, last year we had a client sign on who described his business life as “chaos, confusion and frenzy.”
When you have access to work consistently through your laptop and smartphone, you never really leave work.
And when the slightest interruption can derail you from whatever you’re working on, you’re going to have a chaotic life.
That’s why the digital economy has increasingly pushed men to become addicted to chaos.
We’re bringing this addiction mainstream starting today. Here’s four steps you can use to beat it.
Overcoming your addiction to chaos
I’m not just going to make you aware of a problem and then set you loose without any tools to beat it, so let’s get going. Following are four tools our clients use to great effect.
- Master your to-do list: Chaos can’t hold you if you don’t allow it to channel your actions. Become the master of your to-do list by using the right tools. I recommend a specific workflow in Trello to my clients that has served me far better than any paper-and-pen option ever has. Email me if you want more information on that. This will cycle you out of chaos and help you become a lot more productive at the same time. Another digital option used by other people on my team who see things differently than me is Asana.
- Plan less chaos: Take control of your week before it begins and you’ll be a lot better off. I teach my clients in-depth how to plan each week in day-tight compartments so that if one day blows up you still haven’t blown up your whole week. It’s sort of like how a submarine is designed to stay afloat even if one compartment gets breached by a torpedo and fills with water.
- Get used to eating frog legs: I always tell my clients to eat the green frog first. The green frog is often the reason you never seem to be living a chaotic life. The “green frog” is anything on your to-do list that’s important but you don’t want to tackle. Problem is, a green frog left alone becomes a green toad and gets its warts all over all your plans. Plan each of your days around getting the green frog off your plate first. Don’t move on until you’ve done that. Your days will have less procrastination and chaos as a a result.
- Turn off notifications: Every businessman needs white time to overcome an addiction to chaos. If you can’t get through a workday without feeling a little chaotic, turning off your notifications for text, emails and calls will do you some good. Every interruption, no matter how small, can steal your attention for 23 minutes until you get back to what you were working on before the interruption happened. You don’t need to keep notifications off all the time to make this effective, but set aside blocks of uninterruptible time. I do a whole workday of this every Wednesday and call it “Deep Work Wednesday.” This makes the whole week seem less chaotic, and it’s helped me move toward more of my long-term priorities too.
Break the chaos cycle
Now it’s up to you, Lions. If you know that you’re addicted to chaos after reading this, try some of these steps. I’m happy to help if you need more guidance.
Break your addiction to chaos:
A life of chaos is not a successful life, even if others may point to you as the definition of success.
If you feel too much chaos in your busy life, let’s talk.
You can schedule a free Freedom Breakthrough Session to talk it out. In these 30-minute video calls, I’ll help you identify what’s holding you back in business and take your life to the next level.