We live in a complicated world. This, we know. As more technology emerges, it can be exceeding difficult to manage (and foster) your real life and social media relationships. It gets hard to know where to put your priorities. How much of ourselves has to be online? How many interpersonal interactions are we missing out on? Unfortunately that’s not a question that I can answer for you! But, I do have some pointers that I think can help. This week’s question comes from Amy Johnson, who, like a lot of young professionals, is struggling with the balancing act:
I know it is important to stay on top of new trends and technology, but it almost seems like I’m getting swallowed up by everything and spending more time on my “virtual self” than on my actual self. Blogging, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, personal websites, Pinterest and the list keeps growing… How do you remain balanced in this ever-changing world of technology and how do you choose which platform to focus on at a given time?
This is a question not easily answered! But I think ultimately this comes down to evaluating your goals. As a young professional, you may not have a career established and the things you put online and how you present yourself may speak more to your talents and abilities than a more seasoned pro who can show projects and give numbers to prove their success. If you’re starting a business, creating enough content on enough platforms will make your brand seem more established to someone who searches for you to fulfill a service for them. Your online presence definitely matters – but that is not to say that you should sacrifice your non-digital self!
Sit down and look at your goals. What are you hoping to accomplish with your career/life? Break those down first. Be realistic about the things you want, your strengths and weaknesses. Now think about what you can do in between to start reaching those big goals. It’s a technique that’s been around for ages – big goals and mini goals to get you there! This way, things don’t seem so insurmountable. It’s easier to see your progress and gauge where you are in relation to the big goals.
So, instead of setting a large and overwhelming goal like “post consistently on social media,” set a small goal to post several times a week on any given platform. Make a content calendar, and fill it out so that you have a schedule of what to post, and when to post it. It could be as simple as on Mondays and Thursdays, blog if part of your career objectives involve writing. If you are interested in fashion, be sure you are Instagramming your Outfit of the Day (or #OOTD, if you will!) each day. Examine each of the social platforms, figure out the best way to use them for yourself, and focus on some more than others. You may find that Pinterest isn’t going to support your objectives, so you may not want to use it as frequently, while Twitter is an amazing way to connect with your audience. It’s going to vary for every person, so you need to really consider what it is you want to accomplish. Give more weight to the things that matter the most to you at this point in time. Go through and reevaluate every so often. See what kinds of things are fulfilling you the most, and what your audience seems to connect with the most.
It should be less overwhelming this way, focusing your online efforts onto a handful of platforms that will influence and carry more weight to the people who matter to you – your audience! Then you can divide your virtual efforts and your actual efforts. I think it’s really easy to get swept up in social – I find it happening to myself all the time! Sometimes unplugging for a little bit and going out with a friend, reading a book or taking a nice long bubble bath will awaken new ideas and generally refresh you in a way that a buzzing, bright screen just can’t.
Anyways, that’s just my take on the situation! You may find that you have other handy ways of managing your time and digital and real selves. If you have any other good tips to share, please comment below! I’d love to hear about what other people are doing that they find helpful to calm the mind and prioritize projects. Rock on!
If you have a question you want answered for free on a future #FreeTipFriday, leave a comment here or get in touch on Facebook!