Social media: the compost of our creative garden

Social Media: The compost of our creative garden, Lu and Ed for Oh My! Handmade

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! 


  1. Shawna Miller says:

    Great post! I try to get most of mine done with my morning cup of coffee, and then check on it in the afternoon, and then again in the evening. Unless I’m trapped by a sleeping baby then I’m on a bit more. I try to put my phone on airplane mode so I don’t get notifications too.

    • Cody says:

      I try to do most of mine in the morning, too – much more pleasant to tackle the bulk of replying to messages/notifications/emails while enjoying my single cup of coffee for the day!

  2. Sofia Pinelli says:

    That is very good advice – and a strong visual. I like the timer idea – I use one for the boys and video games, why not for me and the computer. And that will be a block of time to drink my tea while it’s hot!

  3. Thank you Cody for this lovely comment, I will share some of my advice:

    – I take a look to my personal social network just when I’m not working, about the accounts linked to my company I do that three times a day, when I woke up, after lunch and in the evening.

    – I enable a reminder for new followers and mention so I can reply to them right away.

    Have a nice day! Happy Easter!

  4. Darice says:

    You’re brilliant…love this analogy. So very true. One new rule I’ve put into play: if I’m doing something for more than 5 minutes + I’m not accomplishing anything or moving forward on a goal I have set for the day, I stop. Tough self love…it’s becoming my norm + I like it! 😉

    • Cody says:

      Love that method, and so very true! As business owners we have to be careful where we invest our time, because our time is very precious! If we are investing in actions that don’t accomplish anything for us personally or professionally we need to back away and redirect our attention and efforts to better routines!

  5. I just love everything about this post Cody! Social media has been the compost + bread & butter of my business but balancing that with other things can be tough! For the last 8 months I set aside Thursdays as my social media play day when I’m allowed to freely click links, learn what is going on in the creative community + connect. The other 6 days a week I pop in for 15 minutes in between chunks of work. I really enjoy reading how other people balance the mix!

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