For the past week I’ve been stumbling across content that is hitting a little too close to home. It started with an article in the New York Times. An ex mommy blogger wrote about how she had faked a Father’s Day for her blog, had her kids constantly posing with new product drops and ultimately hid a failing marriage for fear that her less than perfect life wouldn’t be well received by her audience.
I like to think I’m pretty open with you and you get to see most of what goes on, warts and all.
But the blog post was followed by a video from one of my favourite YouTube channels, H3 Productions, so much of what is said in this video hit home. While I’m no where near the same level as these guys I found myself nodding along with the stuff that was said. Ethan is one of the most eloquent people I’ve seen in front of a camera so I’d prefer if you watch the video rather than let me try explain what he was saying:
Last year I did ALL THE THINGS. It was a crazy nonstop rollercoaster of incredible stuff and emotions. Towards the end of 2017 so many people said they admired my work ethic and were in awe of how I got it all done. Yeah, me too to be honest. The December break gave me a chance to take a step back and realise the rollercoaster was going to fly off the rails if I wasn’t careful. Seeing so much of this content saying the same made me realise that anyone making content is probably feeling a bit like me at the moment.
So how do we fix this?
I don’t know, but I do have a few things I’m putting in to place to make my life a bit more balanced and to assist in getting rid of that awful “panicked” feeling that plagued me much of 2017. I thought I’d share them with you as well. Whether you’re a blogger, content creator or just working extremely hard at your job these might help:
Everything is perfect on Instagram and that’s okay
I always laugh when people get snotty about someone’s social feed or Instagram profile commenting how it can’t really be that perfect in real life and it is all a facade. Maybe it is, or maybe there life is ten times better than yours. It actually doesn’t matter. If you’re scrolling through social feeds feeling negative towards people based off what you’re seeing, they aren’t the problem – you are. We all get envious from time to time but it is important to realise it is us and not them. I’m going to work harder to not feel resentment towards people who have something or experience something I’m envious of. I’m also going to pay less attention to the people who subtweet or take jabs at others and their style of doing something. Last year I saw what I perceived to be a really nasty picture posted by two women mocking me and my friends. At the time I was so hurt and angered by them but 2018 Sam is going to just feed them with more love and also realise that this isn’t about me – that’s a silly attitude to have. Because those actions come from a place of sadness and even maybe a feeling of not being good enough. Get less entwined in the silliness and more entwined in positivity.
Gosh I’ve gone full Hippy.
Make a schedule… and stick to it!
I used to work until my to do list for the day was done. I’ve changed that now and rather work to a very specific schedule. Mondays are content days. I make content, write blog posts and edit videos. This frees up the rest of my week to deal with the other stuff I need to do. I ignore admin and the like on Monday – it is content only. I also switch off at latest 6pm every day. This is the new rule. It doesn’t matter if I haven’t finished my tasks for the day, I need time to unwind and be with the people that matter. I’m also going to be much stricter about work on weekends this year. If I’m being paid I’ll work weekends (life of the freelancer) but if it is just a fun event or something fun to do I’m likely going to skip it. My friends and family also need me to be with them and those sorts of events or work commitments take precious time away from them.
On the point about friends and family
That blog post I mentioned early on? In it the mommy blogger concerned explains how she had her children and hubby posing for pics and videos. I’m guilty of the same. I’m always dragging friends and my loved ones to events as plus ones or asking them to take photos or ignoring time with them while I photograph something for instagram (or worse, getting them to photograph me!). I know they’re happy to do it for me but I also know they don’t always enjoy it. In 2018 I’ll be less inclined to make the people I love give up their free time for my work. This is important. If they want to be involved they can. Because pulling your friends in to a world of content creation (or any job for the matter) ends in shattered friendships. Your work is your work, try keep family, friends and that separate.
I’ve disabled my social notifications on my phone and, leading on from above, I’m working harder to not be on social media on weekends or the evenings when my loved ones need my time and don’t want me on my phone. I’m also choosing not to talk about what I saw on Twitter or the latest social gossip. Removing yourself from the trivia online will make you a happier positive human. It goes a long way to a healthier way of life.
Saying that though, stopping myself from constantly rambling on about Esports has been HARD!
Do you have any tips on maintaining a work life balance?