Today we need to talk about something that has nothing to do with strategy or blogging tips and everything to do with keeping you feeling motivated and productive and energized to grow your blog.
You probably already know that being active and visible online is an important part of building an audience and expanding your reach. It allows your people to get to know you better and it makes it easier for you to learn from them too, which leads to better content, products, and services.
But being active and social and going live on a daily basis requires a MASSIVE amount of energy.
And if you’re introverted like me, it can make some workdays feel extra stressful.
As much as staying visible and going live has helped grow my blog and business, it’s been a challenge to learn how to distribute my energy so I don’t crash mid-day when I need to be working.
Being an introvert can involve a lot of different things, but one of the most important issues for me is that I gain energy from being alone and expend energy anytime I need to be “on,” whether that’s hanging out in my Facebook groups, going live, creating video and Instagram stories, or just responding to comments and questions.
Some of these tasks take a little energy and some of them, like hosting a two-hour-long webinar, have the potential to knock me out for the rest of the day. So today I’m sharing what I’ve learned about scheduling my days to be live and engaged as often as possible without feeling completely worn out by the end of the week.
Note which activities take the most energy
As much as I love running webinars and getting to provide feedback and help, after such an intense live session I can generally be found crashed out on the couch, eating tacos like a zombie, barely able to focus on a TV show. Sometimes I can recover enough to work after a few hours, and sometimes I’m 100 percent done for the day.
Facebook Live, on the other hand, requires a slightly less dramatic recovery period. Taking an hour for lunch or any activity that doesn’t involve my computer or phone generally recharges me enough to get back to my to-do list and finish out my workday.
Plan time to be “on”
One of the ways I end up spending a lot of energy without realizing is by responding to emails, checking into Facebook groups, or answering questions on Instagram randomly throughout the day. This creates a near-constant energy leak and leaves me feeling spent without even realizing what I’m doing.
When I’m on top of my personal energy conservation I spend a few minutes in the morning and a few minutes in the evening answering questions and providing feedback in my Facebook groups. (If I check Facebook to see what my friends and family are up to, I do not check my Facebook groups until it’s time to check off that task.)
I go through email only ONCE each day, and I keep notifications on my phone OFF (something I did about 4 years ago when I went on vacation and loved it so much I never turned them back on).
Having distinct times when I’m “on” and interacting with other people and times when all my tabs are closed and I’m working on writing or design (like right now) helps me to be purposeful in where I use my energy.
Work on one thing at a time
I often find my mind wandering to small tasks while I’m in the middle of writing a blog post or going through email. But instead of getting sidetracked, I tell myself something like, “I’m not working on that right now” or “This does not need to get done right now” and go back to what I was working on. Even when I’m done working and watching TV at night, I avoid the tendency to have my phone in-hand, scrolling aimlessly.
Sticking to one task at a time not only helps to keep from feeling flustered and expending energy unnecessarily, but it also keeps me on track and finishing projects on time (or enjoying whatever show I’m watching).
Be mindful of how often you procrastinate with social media
If you tend to pick up your phone or scroll through social media when you should be focused on something else, you could be losing energy without realizing it.
Even if you’re laying on the couch, lazily scrolling through Instagram, it still has the potential for sucking up too much energy. I follow a lot of brilliant entrepreneurs so there is always something to read or watch and always questions and comments to respond to from my lovely readers. Some days my phone finds its way into my hand over and over before I even know what I’m doing and I get sucked into what everyone else is talking about and working on instead of my own stuff.
Again I try to remind myself of the task at hand and allow myself a few minutes to browse social media when I’m finished. (Instagram, I’m coming for you when this post is done!)
Add time for computer/people-free activities
You know when you REALLY need to use your phone but it’s down to 10% battery and you have to plug it in no matter what – your body functions like this too. Even on my most busy days it’s important for me to step away from work and find a moment to recharge. If I let myself run down to 10 or 20 percent, the work is not going to get finished or it’s not going to be as good as it could have been if I was more energized.
Planning my days so they include 10 or 20 minutes away from work is helpful in getting through my most “on” times.
For me this looks like taking the dog for a meandering walk, meditating for 10 minutes using HeadSpace, closing my computer and reading for an hour, making dinner (Blue Apron always gives me a delicious incentive to take time to cook), leaving the house to meet friends for lunch, and actively stopping work at a reasonable time.
As an introvert you can only get so far with a packed schedule and a penchant for multitasking. For those of us with a need to be mindful of our energy, staying focused and purposeful with the times we’re active online and leaving space in our days to take a solo break can be a literal lifesaver.