33 In Writing

Time to reassess your priorities

There comes a time in your life when you need to reassess your priorities. At current I’m re-analysing mine in respect to social media / computer time.

Since 2010, it has taken up an increasing amount of my time BUT I’ve enjoyed it. I’ve loved blogging, getting to know Twitter, connecting with people on Facebook and LinkedIn. I’ve ‘met’ some great people, made friends, and learnt a lot.

And then came Tumblr, Google+, Pinterest, Instagram…I know I’ve forgotten others I succumbed to. At one stage – and I’ve heard other bloggers say this – it becomes an automatic process to just sign-up to things…without even really thinking. And on top of that it was all of the groups – so many types, so many people, so many opportunities to share and connect…

Enough is enough.

It’s all well and good connecting in with all of these groups and social media platforms – which is especially tempting when you have a blog that you are wanting to publicise, but when you struggle to put quality time into the connections you’ve made, or any of the accounts you’ve created for some reason or another – than it’s certainly time to re-think what you are doing, why and where.

The first thing to go for me was Tumblr. I had started it to share photos, as I was really getting back into my photography and wanted to pursue it more. I was picking up some followers here and there, including other photographers liking my work…but when I sat down to think about the value it was bringing me, I had to admit that it lacked that whole social connection for me. There wasn’t really any ‘getting to know you’ going on. It was more just looking at others pictures, sharing your own – and hoping someone would share yours. Of course, I do appreciated pretty pictures, and I could have turned my Tumblr account into a blog, but I already have one blog, and that was enough – which was another decision I made a few months ago when considering whether I should start another blog in which I could ‘monetize’.

The second thing to go was my membership of certain Facebook and LinkedIn groups. Many of the LinkedIn groups had become as annoying as spam, so they were easy to cull. The Facebook groups – well – that was another story as I had to consider whether leaving the groups would sever my connection with people I had connected with whom I had gotten to know and admired. In the end I had to weigh them up according to my priorities, interests, what I had in common with the other members, and the direction I was moving in.

The third thing which pains me has been cutting back on my blogging. I love it, but I had to cut back. Working 2 jobs, maintaining a relationship, looking after kids every second weekend, volunteering, networking, maintaining social media accounts, physically catching up with friends in person, spending time with my family and dog, exercising, eating, trying to start a business, paying bills, food shopping, cleaning the house, mentoring others, designing ebooks, looking after myself, having down time…and blogging on top for this blog and others…well, it all culminated in me having a (minor) car accident a few weeks back, of which I will add to my list of wake up calls.

I’d actually already started to cut back on blogging before the accident, but have done more-so since. I’ve also cut back on driving in the evenings, going out in the evenings / on week nights, one of the two jobs, and so on.

As I sit here now, this is the first time I have sat down to write/blog for over a week and a half. I miss the feeling of writing. I miss how free it makes me feel, how it brings me clarity. I love the feeling of my fingers tapping away at the keys frantically, the words spilling out of me easily. It took me years to re-find this…and I don’t want to lose it again.

And so now I have clarity.

My priorities, of which some I already knew, are:

  • My health
  • My relationship
  • My family and friends
  • My dog
  • My writing
  • A holiday
  • Mentoring
  • One special Facebook group

The rest will just have to fall into place – especially social media – until life re-balances out with time. Unfortunately that means my photography will be taking a bit of a back seat – until I go to China that is ๐Ÿ™‚

How are you going with social media / computer time, and maintaining balance? I know I’m not the only one struggling to keep up!

  • Thom Brown
    April 11, 2012 at 9:24 am

    I guess I did this. I quit from a number of things – keeping only FB and my blog. I still have Titter but never go there. I keep it only because of PBAU. I’d like to see Google+ take off (so I could dump FB), but it hasn’t yet. It is about balance.

    • Thom Brown
      April 11, 2012 at 9:25 am

      oops – tWitter

      • neanster77
        April 11, 2012 at 2:43 pm

        hehehe I was wondering if you would pick that up.

    • neanster77
      April 11, 2012 at 9:26 am

      Hey Thom, I think we (PBAU-ers) are going through a lot of the same things at the mo. I don’t know what it is – I can’t get into Google+. I don’t have the time to give to it at the moment to really appreciate it, so like you say, if it takes off…I’ll revisit it then.

  • Joy
    April 11, 2012 at 9:40 am

    Well said, Janine. I find it so admirable that you have become so clear about your priorities that you were even able to list them down like that. Amazing!…and good for you! I agree that all this social media can get so crazy and it has. You have offered a lot of valuable questions that do serve as criteria for one who’s trying to weed out the not-so-useful media so thanks for that. I wish you all the positive vibe so you can continue to write and pursue what you’re truly passionate about and also I would be so bold to assume that that special FB group is PBAU. I hope I’m right :-)) (If not, I’d rather not know…ignorance is bliss after all), lol!

    • neanster77
      April 16, 2012 at 7:27 pm

      You guessed it Joy!

  • Irene
    April 11, 2012 at 10:29 am

    great post! I still consider myself a newbie blogger – under 1 year- and it is overwhelming at times. I am home with my 2 year old and have two dogs (until recently had 4) and it is exhausting at times.I don’t get to blog until my daughter goes to bed (between 8-9) and by then i’m exhausted but have to play catch up and still find time to relax. I do love blogging but I didn’t realize how much work it was when I started all this.

    Sorry to hear about your accident, hope you are doing better and glad you are taking some “me” time.

    • neanster77
      April 16, 2012 at 7:24 pm

      I hear you about not realising how much work blogging would take! I wish you luck in your blogging and in striking that balance. It’s definitely a continual process.

  • Jaime
    April 11, 2012 at 12:34 pm

    This is the one thing that I have always fought since getting started online. There are always things to learn and keep up with. I try to keep balance, but my family always comes first. In order to fit it all in I have to make some sacrifices like waking up a little earlier or staying after everyone else goes to bed. Thank you so much for sharing!!

    • neanster77
      April 16, 2012 at 7:23 pm

      You’re welcome Jaime. Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting. I wish you luck with striking that balance!

  • Caylie Price
    April 11, 2012 at 12:53 pm

    You are absolutely correct. So many of us are struggling with balance. We are pulled in so many directions, many of them wonderful, but it gets to a point where there is just too much.
    I hope you were not injured in your accident and are beginning to find better balance. My only suggestion is don’t give up everything you love – make sure you set aside a little ‘me’ time for writing and photography.

    • neanster77
      April 16, 2012 at 7:20 pm

      Hi Caylie,
      Thanks for stopping by! I wasn’t injured in the accident thank goodness. Just the car which is currently being fixed.
      I will remember your advise about not giving up everything ๐Ÿ™‚
      Janine

  • Crystal
    April 11, 2012 at 5:58 pm

    Balance is really important in every life we have… Family, friends and even social life… It should all be balanced…

  • Marie
    April 11, 2012 at 7:46 pm

    I totally get where you’re coming from. This is why I only facebook and do so very selectively with that special facebook group. You must take care of you and yours first! I’m glad you’ve got your priorities straight ๐Ÿ™‚

  • cath
    April 11, 2012 at 8:21 pm

    After our brief communication the other day, I had the feeling this post was coming. I am in the midst of a struggle of my own, and although I have never thought of myself as a quitter, I am rethinking my own priorities. Bravo to you for recentering yourself. I hope I am not far behind. ๐Ÿ˜€

    • neanster77
      April 16, 2012 at 7:27 pm

      Sending thoughts your way Cath ๐Ÿ™‚

  • MommaSachs
    April 12, 2012 at 1:59 am

    Well said! I know I’ve backed off of Pinterest. The pins started looking the same and there just isn’t a lot of time to do all the pins. I mean…. I’m a great mom but I’m not SUPER MOM!!! ๐Ÿ™‚ I need to cut back on FB time and really keep it to the evenings before bedtime but that might be like cutting off my left arm sooooooo baby steps! I already go through phases with blogging but I totally understand where you are coming from!

  • Cindy Murphy
    April 12, 2012 at 2:00 am

    I know what you mean Janine. It can get so overwhelming sometimes. It’s impossible to be everywhere 24/7 and social media platforms can suck up all of one’s free time, if we allow it to.

    I have had to scale back by finding those platforms that allow for the best engagement and connection with the online world. For me, that has been Facebook and Twitter. I am trying to keep up with the other platforms but decided not to stress over it.

    I like how you broke down your priorities. Great Post!

    Cindy

    • neanster77
      April 16, 2012 at 7:41 pm

      Hi Cindy –

      Thanks!!

      I’m with you. Twitter and Facebook are my top priorities. The others aren’t worth the stress.

      Janine

  • Shayla
    April 12, 2012 at 3:12 am

    I go through and cull a lot of memberships to things as soon as I start feeling overwhelmed. My blogging has really ramped up recently and I find it hard to keep up with, some days!

    • neanster77
      April 16, 2012 at 7:33 pm

      Hang in there Shayla, just make sure you don’t burn yourself out ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Theresa Torres
    April 12, 2012 at 1:57 pm

    Hi Janine,
    Last year was when I realized I needed to rethink and re-align my priorities. I started decluttering everything offline and online. It’s still an ongoing process since I haven’t yet achieved the clarity that I want and still struggle with finding balance but quitting from a lot of things has helped.
    I’m in the process of building again but this time I want to choose only what I think will work best for me. I just need to focus on one thing at a time and not allow myself to be overwhelmed by all the things I want to learn online.
    The rest as you said will just have to fall into place. I wish you a wonderful time in China.

    • neanster77
      April 16, 2012 at 7:39 pm

      Hi Theresa,

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting. I think I’m with you – this will certainly take time. I can’t wait to go to China – I’m not taking my laptop! 3 weeks without a computer – it’s going to be strange!

  • Sophie
    April 13, 2012 at 6:05 pm

    You had the right idea to cull those groups that you think are no longer that relevant to you now. With the advent of more social networking sites to interact with other people, it can be a tough task to perform.

  • MuMuGB
    April 15, 2012 at 8:57 pm

    I totally understand. At some point, we need to prioritize. It is not easy, but if we don’t do it we won’t achieve anything. I also realised that it is OK to ask for help. I certainly need to find some!

    • neanster77
      April 16, 2012 at 7:38 pm

      Asking for help is such a BIG thing! I hope you find some ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Jean | Delightful Repast
    April 15, 2012 at 11:38 pm

    Hello, I’ve only just discovered your blog (from a tweet) and was happy to find another blogger seeking balance! I don’t have anything to quit because I have resisted signing up for anything. I’ve been blogging a little more than two years now, and have only ever blogged once a week. I determined before I even started that once a week is all I could handle. And I signed up for Twitter and have managed to keep that under control. Have never been on Facebook and never will. As you found, there are new social media things popping up every day. They *could* completely take over one’s life. Pointless. Congratulations on your balance (which, incidentally, takes constant work!).

    • neanster77
      April 16, 2012 at 7:36 pm

      Good point Jean – balance does take constant work! A Good reminder there.

      You have done well to avoid Facebook and keep everything else under control. Congrats!

  • Danyelle Franciosa
    April 17, 2012 at 11:29 am

    Very well said. Having priorities is normal to us as human but we have to do it in a balance way in which the other one would not be missed. Thanks a lot for this post!

  • Barbara
    April 22, 2012 at 4:16 pm

    Well done, Janine, I wish I could say the same! There is definitely something wrong when you have been online for hours and in the end you ask yourself “what have I done?” and you cannot find anything worth remembering.

    And I delude myself by pretending not to care when I am not constantly interacting in blogosphere. At the beginning of the year I tried to structure my online work schedule but I am still looking for balance, or maybe I need an extra loud timer. And my creative work suffers. On the other hand I am really better at restricting my online time and my real life profits from it.

    You are right in setting your priorities and I love your list – may I copy it?

    • neanster77
      April 22, 2012 at 4:21 pm

      Copy away my dear. The problem is sticking to it! Good luck.

      • Barbara
        April 22, 2012 at 4:23 pm

        Then by giving away the list, the problem will be gone, too?

        • neanster77
          April 22, 2012 at 4:28 pm

          hehe I wish!

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