And, I’ve noticed something…many hardcore creators aren’t on social media.
Or, if they are, they tend more toward dabbling or strategic bursts than heavy use. I’m not talking, of course, about that group of creators whose creative medium IS social media either.
I’m talking about the vastly larger numbers of artists, entrepreneurs, VCs, authors, hackers, yadda, yadda, yadda.
I’ve been struggling with this a lot lately, because as a creator (books, businesses, products, experiences), I’m fundamentally gifted not only with the challenge of coming up with cool ideas, but getting ideas from my head into real-life.
Then doing everything I can to make them succeed.
People can’t be impacted and I can’t earn a living by an idea that’s perpetually in-utero.
And, therein lies the dilemma…
Social media is great for building my tribe, seeding my creations and fanning the flames once they’re in the real world. It’s great to stay connected with friends, rant and blow off steam. But, the process of taking an idea from my head into the world requires intense periods of focus and action…and in that context, social media seems more distraction than catalyst, fueled by obsessive fits of intermittently-reinforced attention-switching.
By all rights, I should be doing everything possible to eliminate distractions, to push back against everything that pulls my focus away from my mission, save the other “important” activities and people in my life. But at the same time, I don’t want to abandon my tribes. Both, because I love them, I love engaging with them and I know that they’ll also be important in helping whatever I bring to life succeed.
Seems like a hell of a balancing act.
But, here’s the thing. That may be more illusion than reality.
Under the best of circumstances, I can’t really write and be hyper-productive more than 3-5 hours a day. And, to even get that much out of my daily creative capacity, that time also needs to happen in bursts.
So, I’m going to do a little experiment. Instead of random bouts (that turn into meandering, constant checking) of social media tribe updates, intertwined with creation time, I’m going to build my social media engagement time around more intensive bouts of hyper-focused creation.
There will be rules:
- A brief morning check-in of no more than 15 minutes across all platforms.
- Three morning bouts of hyper-focused creation of 45-60 minutes, broken up not by social media, but by exercise, mindfulness or novelty-based activities.
- Mid-afternoon social media snacking window that allows for more of a grazing approach during the time I tend to be organically least productive no matter how hard I try. This also mixes in with my “other business” hours.
- Three evening bouts of hyper-focused creation, when my ability to drop back into that mystical place seems to return.
- A brief social media update/sign-off window later in the evening, but only after having completed creative bouts.
I’m still getting a beat on my natural cycles (which you’d figure I’d know after four-plus decades). But, I’ll see how this works then circle back in a month or so with an update.
How do YOU handle balancing the need to be hyper-focused and hugely productive with your desire to simultaneously build relationships and tribes and stay connected with friends?
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