Friday, December 11, 2015

Pause and Reflect

Written Sunday, 6 December 2015

Writing. On a quiet Sunday afternoon (when there’s no drilling happening as they repair the Gardiner Expressway). Nothing on the agenda. Nothing that I have to do. A perfect time to pause and reflect.

My recent timeout from social media gave me a lot to think about. Stepping away from Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Blogger for a full two weeks in November, I found myself writing more and finishing projects. I was going to bed at night with a feeling of accomplishment instead of feeling overwhelmed. I followed a simple routine, got back to basics. I was, once again, laying track.

Being back online again, I’ve had to limit how much time I dedicate to social media. I need to write. I need to create. When I don’t, I’m like my partner when he’s gone too long without a cigarette: irritable. (That’s another battle for another day!) If social media overwhelms, dominates, I lose my footing. I thought about resigning from social media for a longer period of time, say three to six months. Given time to reflect, I realized that wasn’t the answer. Social media is an effective tool, and what I need to do is figure out an approach to its use that’s good for me. It’s a question of balance.

While I write daily, I’m trying different strategies with social media. Dedicated times during the week where I can be present on social media. Dedicated days of non-use of social media, more regularly scheduled timeouts. It’s an approach that is evolving as I find my rhythm with social media.

Balance. Not always easy to achieve. And if I can stay focused on my goals — find a way to use social media to advance my goals instead of distracting me from them — balance will come. In the meantime, I’ll need to be patient and simply go with the flow.

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