I’m sure I’m not the only one that feels stressed out when it comes to blogging. I started my blog as a fun hobby alongside my full time job, and I never in a million years thought it would take over so much time and energy in my life. I’m so pleased it has but sometimes I just don’t know when to stop. I work all day using a computer and sometimes come home with a fuzzy head and square eyes, only to open my laptop and bash out a blog post because I feel I should write something. I’ve realised a very big life lesson just rececntly – The Internet moves at such a pace, if you try and keep up you will burn out, and thats a promise. When I check my Twitter/Feedly/Pinterest feeds I see hundreds of new blog posts I want to read, not to mention all the Buzzfeed’s, things to Pin and Instagrams popping up. Sometimes it feels like such a mental overload – how do we take all of this in?
I will never ‘give up’ my social media, my blog is my favourite hobby, part of my life and one of things I’m most proud of. Thats not to mention the amazing blogging community. I’ve met some of my best friends this way! However, surely there must be a way to cut down on that overload/pressure feeling? Blogging and social media is supposed to be fun so when you think it feels like a chore – thats when something needs to be done.
Here are my top tips to avoid blogger stress and social media overload:
1. Stop trying to keep up with others
This is my biggest downfall – I’ll admit, sometimes I load up some of my favourite bloggers and realised that they’ve posted 3-4 times since my last post and I instantly feel a pang of guilt that I haven’t put that much time and effort into my blog. This is really silly as some of my favourite bloggers do this as their full time jobs, I could never keep up with that with my current full time job too. We don’t really know what someone else’s situation is, maybe they are a student with loads of free time, or a stay at home Mum, we can’t compare lifestyles to someone else. I know it’s not just me who feels like this about ‘keeping up’ so we really need to cut ourselves some slack and only post when we feel like it!
2. Only check your email and social media in short bursts during the day
It seems to be an acceptable thing to check our phones for new tweets/emails/Instagram likes/blog comments etc. every five seconds. Quite often I’ll be at dinner with friends and all our phones will be on the table, meaning we pick them up every few minutes totally interrupting the conversation. I know I do it myself, and I wish I didn’t – it’s like an addiction. I’m really working on quitting the habit. I saw an article in the week on my trusted favourite site, Lifehacker that said this constant checking is ruining our ‘flow’, meaning we are only not able to concentrate on the task in hand without flitting in between tasks or checking of emails etc – this lowers our productivity meaning all we really do is procrastinate. Hmmph, thats probably true. Constant checking has also been shown my researchers to be a massive contributor to stress if you constantly live like this. I’ve been trying to leave my phone alone for long periods of time then check everything in one go, allowing 5/10 minutes or so to write replies… I actually prefer this, by the time I look at my phone I have received lots of lovely things to look at and it feels so much more rewarding than being a slave to my phone all the time!
3. Get organised
When I feel disorganised I immediately start to stress, it feels like I have more to do than I really do and things are just chaotic. I try and keep as organised as possible when it comes to blogging by writing things-to-do lists and keeping records of products that need reviewing. I’ve also started to only accept opportunities that really suit my blog style and will fit into my posts… It’s so easy to just say yes, yes, yes when PR’s get in touch for the first few times, but after nearly 2 years I just limit my ‘yes responses’ for things I really love and feel passionate about writing about. Anyway, getting organised sounds like a good excuse to buy a new beautiful notebook to me! (any excuse!)
4. Organise social media and reading lists
I was completely overwhelmed by my Twitter feed until I organised it into lists, now I feel a lot calmer being able to pick the list of tweets I want to read. I know it sounds terrible, but if someone is annoying me I have to unfollow them – Twitter is now a calm place for me and drama free (anyone else noticed the amount of drama on there?!). Following this, I’ve now sorted everything in a similar categories – including my blog reading list on Feedly which is in sections like Brighton Bloggers, Beauty Blogs, Lifestyle etc. This totally saves my social media overload and panic when I feel I can’t keep up on the ever moving timelines.
5. Take a break
The pressure to keep up can get to us all so sometimes, we just need to switch off and get away. I recently did a blogger challenge to take 24 hours off the Internet and it was a real eye-opener as to the amount of time I was spending in my virtual little world. They also say that not switching off is one of the biggest ways to kill creativity, so in order to have some amazing things to write, you need to do something amazing, experience something wonderful or just rest… (then come back and tell us all about it!)
Have you felt like this before? How do you get away from that awful ‘overloaded’ feeling?