From eighth grade until about a year ago, I had an alarm clock, the same alarm clock, sitting by my bed. It was white with big friendly green numbers and a very painful alarm sound.

Tragically, that alarm clock fell off my nightstand one day when I was cleaning and it just couldn’t take my punishments anymore. I decided that instead of investing in another alarm clock, I would do what most folks do nowadays: I would use the alarm clock function on my iPhone. I did not fully consider the ramifications of this decision.

The last thing I do before my head hits the pillow now is check my email. If I wake up randomly in the middle of the night, I reach for my phone. When I regain consciousness in the morning, the first thing I do is, you guessed it, reach for my phone.

Is this sounding familiar to you? If you’re a business owner and/or an entrepreneur, I bet it does.

Like me, you probably often hear that you are too plugged in to the grid and you probably are often notified that this is unhealthy for your brain, soul, and body.

Many wise people have written that looking at your email first thing in the morning is one of the worst things that you can do as a business person. Inevitably, you will be faced with the stress of needing to remember things that you have to do or you might be faced with problems that you’ll want to solve right away. With all of that weighing heavily on your mind, you don’t have time to gather your thoughts, begin with a more positive energy, or ease into your day.

Even over the weekend, there is immense pressure to plug into the grid. There are those fan pages on Facebook to nurture, blog posts to promote, emails to answer, and the next week to prepare for. Is unplugging really even an option?

Managing Your Time

It’s probably not realistic to think that you can remove yourself entirely from the online world for any length of time as an entrepreneur today. However, what you can strive to do is effectively manage the time you do spend online. One of the best posts I’ve seen about this was written by Geoff Livingston. Geoff offers ways to time your online work, avoid getting distracted by fun conversations when you need to be working, and more.

This may not reduce the number of comments you get from concerned friends and family members, but it can help you work more effectively and manage your time better across all platforms on which you are working.

What do you think? Are you too plugged in? How do you balance your online time with your offline time? We’d love to hear from you!