Robot Mode

I don’t know about you, but sometimes when I’m super busy (and who isn’t these days?!), I feel like I’m a robot. Since I must go faster and faster just to keep up, I want to rapidly tick things off my list. This way, I figure, I will get as much done as possible within the shortest timeframe.

“Robot mode” can be very productive. 


At what cost? When I’m in “robot mode” I’m focused only on the task at hand. I may not be as compassionate to people around me. I may not be present or listening as closely if I weren’t in “robot mode”. Additionally, I may miss some wonderful opportunities because I’m so focused on completing the task(s).

To me, “robot mode” is like when a kid takes an empty paper towel roll and holds it up to her eye. What her eye can see becomes very narrowly focused. She can’t see anything outside of that focus unless she moves her body. 

In this mode, you are 100% focused on getting things done. You don’t have any idea what’s happening around you. You aren’t paying any attention to anything but this tunnel vision. In this mode, it is so easy to MISS:

  • how other people are feeling
  • how someone is responding to you
  • how you are treating other beings (e.g., people, animals)
  • new opportunities
  • fun things happening around you.

How do you handle “robot mode”? What impact has “robot mode” made in your life?  How does it feel to come out of “robot mode”?

As I’m writing this, I’m also wondering… Do you find it enjoyable to be in “robot mode”? I love checking things off my list! “Robot mode” helps me feel accomplished. But I would NOT describe it as fun. For me, “Robot Mode” usually kicks in when things are chaotic and stressful. After I’ve been in this mode for quite a while, I’m disconnected, exhausted and cranky. It takes a lot out of a person to stay focused for an extended time.

So, why bother to go into “robot mode” if it:

  • Isn’t fun
  • Can put distance between you and other people and
  • Can even cause you to miss opportunities in your life? 

As I’ve mentioned, “robot mode” can be a great way to be productive. For instance, you may have a to-do list that has gotten out of hand or a project that is overdue. Going into “robot mode” may be the perfect short-term solution.  The to-do list or project will get the concentrated attention and commitment needed to make progress.

Notice I stated “short-term solution”. “Robot mode” can serve you well at different times. However, it is not a long-term solution. If you find you’re living in “robot mode” all the time, this is the perfect time to look at what causes you to use this all the time. Your insights will provide you with awareness, which is the best place to start to make changes.

As you move forward through your day, pay attention to when you slip into “robot mode” and notice how it feels.  Vice versa, when you’re not in “robot mode”, check in to see how that feels.

Striking a nice balance between being in and out of “robot mode” will allow you to be productive without sacrificing your relationships and other exciting benefits!

Helen Kosinski

I'm an ICF credentialed coach and a certified animal communicator. I partner with ever evolving intuitive businesspeople who are on a mission to create a big impact. Before opening my business in 2005, I spent close to 25 years in technology in the financial services industry. Because of my time in corporate, I understand the overwhelm and frustration that keeps businesspeople stuck. I offer my clients unique approaches to gain clarity. This results in dissolving their blocks, getting unstuck and forging ahead to bring their big impact into the world.

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