Given that the last topic I blogged about was the summer solstice and it is now autumn in most places around the country (except for San Francisco, which is in its annual bout of Indian Summer), you can tell it’s been a while since I last blogged.
Which is not good for a blogger, right? That’s like the number one rule of blogging, you say: Update and update regularly. Who is going to read anything you write if you actually don’t write anything?
Gah, OK, OK, I hear you. So now I have some thoughts about being prolific on personal social media.
For many of us, the struggle with updating our digital presences—i.e. Feeding The Monster—is practical: We are just busy. Away from our screens and keyboards, we have active lives full of work and people and houses to clean and pets to feed and if we have a spare hour outside of work, we would much rather be seeing the friend we haven’t seen in umpteen months or laying down.
Recently I’ve realized that one of the keys to making sure we have time to update has to do with our lifestyles. I have a couple of ideas about what we can do in our lives to improve our prolificacy.
It actually has to do with commute. Commutes, in general, are terrible for our happiness. Researchers found that people consistently cite it as the worst part of their lives. So, if commute majorly affects our lives in general, imagine how it impacts our productivity.
So, for optimal social media, there are two good scenarios:
1. Find a job that’s close to work or where we can work from home. I used to have a job where I would have to drive 1.5 hours everyday to get to work—and then another 1.5 hours back. That was three hours a day. And aside from the fact of having no time for blogging or doing anything else—I was miserable from the commute. These days, I used to live a five-minute walk away from my work, but recently the office moved more than an hour’s drive away. Now I lose two to three hours every day—that’s fifteen hours a week or more than two full days of work (assuming an average of eight hours of work a day). Which basically means that if I weren’t commuting, I could essentially be blogging as a part-time job for two days a week.
I contrast this to when I used to work from home—in particular, when I was running social media for a startup in DC. It meant I started really early because they were five hours ahead of where I was living. But it also meant that I put in way more hours because I didn’t have a commute. And I also had time to integrate updating my social media into my life.
2. The even better way to make time for Feeding The Monster is to plan a commute during which you can work. After roughing such long driving commutes for some time, I told myself I would live by public transportation and company shuttle stops or bust. And you know what? It was awesome. I’d walk 20 minutes to the train and get my exercise for the day and then take a 40-minute train ride down to my job. It was the similar time spent as my more awful commutes. The difference was that I could work on the way down. On my way back up, I would take the company shuttle and do the same.
I considered my day started when I sat down in my train seat, not when I got to my desk—which meant that my day started much earlier and I had the time and mental space to work on creative problems and also to blog, tweet, and find things that inspired me to post to my social channels.
The third way, which I do not advocate, is to find a job that you hate because then you will find yourself forced to find inspiration and creativity in your outside life, which for some people means social media. Of course, then you have a much bigger problem on your hands. ;-)
What do you guys think? How do you guys make sure you post often?