From The Rock

Back To the Future

By | March 04, 2014

If you were a child of the ‘80s, I have a television show recommendation that has grown on me since it debuted last fall – ABC’s The Goldbergs. It is a show that pays homage to growing up in the 1980s with all the pop culture references that would make the recent AutoZone Super Bowl spot jealous. 
The interesting element of the show is that it takes place in “1980-something…” In other words, it is not a linear storyline, which includes the chronological order of pop culture events. I mean, Ghostbusters and Batman were five years apart, not out at the same time. Once you can accept this, it makes the viewing experience more enjoyable. 
One recent episode that brought back a ton of memories from my childhood centered on the local video store experience. It is hard to believe that there was an era where you had to drive to the video store, hope they had the movie you wanted, and if they didn’t, you had to accept it and find something else based on what was available in the store at that time. AND, you had to return it within 48 hours. If you didn’t, then you had to pay late fees. 
This episode really got me thinking how everything we do, professionally and personally, has changed. Everything is quicker – so much so that you always hear people saying, “What did we do before (insert modern technology here)?” 
It does make you pause. There is so much discussion about how much more we work today compared to 15 or 20 years ago and how much quicker communication and productivity is now. The discussion is that we are working in a 24/7 world. 
I agree that we now are producing and creating faster than ever, thanks to the technology we now have. But, I would like to think that even before the era of digital communication work was being done around the clock. I don’t think the notion of working 24/7 just started in the last decade. 
Rather the way we used to work has changed. This doesn’t suggest that we didn’t work as hard back then. Instead, that extra time working was spent on researching, reading industry information, studying media information, and yes, even stuffing and addressing envelopes for news releases and event invitations to be mailed. On top of this, discussions about future plans, trends, professional observations and other topics were always done around the clock, even if they were limited to the phone, the pub or the office. 
And that is the rub – Are we now doing more and more without the luxury of pausing for preparation, strategy and big-picture development? Is our business world utilizing the extra time that comes from instant and digital communication simply to spend more time on short-term tasks and communication? Or, are we still putting time aside to read, examine and discuss what is happening in the long term for our companies, brands, industries and world in general? 
We can spend 23 hours a day filled with responding to emails, texts and even the next thing down the road very easily. But, it is just as important to devote regular time to planning for the future.