I know, it might be a gross comparison, but they have more in common than you think.
Compost is essential to the survival and success of your garden. Social media is essential to the survival and success of most creative businesses. Too much compost produces phosphorous which becomes a pollutant in your garden, and similarly, you can often find yourself sucked into social media and find your creativity & productivity suffering as a result. One more email, one more blog post, one more update, reply to one more tweet.
Social media is also similar to compost because it creates some pretty stinky situations – we compare our lives to the carefully staged photographs and updates others post. It can make us feel in inferior, it can make us question our ethics, our morals, the quality of our work, the integrity of our designs, and even our own thought processes and how we perceive ourselves. This all too common side effect of too much social media consumption damages our roots and wilts our creative garden!
Social media can become a toxic, addictive cycle – and it needs to be broken before your creative garden suffers!
To help maintain safe levels of compost (social media) in your garden, set blocks of time for social media. Consider using a timer to hold yourself accountable and keep yourself from replying to just one more post.
When the timer goes off, ask yourself these questions:
Have you responded to all messages, comments, inquiries and necessary forum threads on your various platforms?
Posted your daily updates?
Replied to all pertinent emails?
If you answer yes to all of these, pull the plug for the day and get to work making beautiful things!
At first, you may not finish all these things before the timer goes off, but as you hold yourself accountable for the time you invest into social media and how it effects you and your business, you will become a social media ninja, tackling the must-dos for the day quickly so you can squeeze in some “play” time before it’s time to unplug for the day!
If however, you cannot unplug for the day because you work at a computer, try these options:
If you don’t need the web, turn off your internet until your work for the day is done. If you need the web to work, try a program that blocks out social media sites for a set amount of time, and to help avoid the temptation to get sucked back in, turn off the notifications for social media alerts on your phone.
Separate yourself from the addictive time suck and damaging thought processes that can be caused by social media and you will find that your own creativity has more room to flourish when it isn’t being poisoned by too much stinky compost!
How do you keep the right balance of social media in your life? We’d love to hear your suggestions in the comments!