With my business, entertainment, and many of my friends all living online I was finding it increasingly difficult to shut off and enjoy the world around me without digital distractions. In between blogging, vlogging, and Instagram it seemed like everything was an opportunity to create content, and if I was not snapping away and sharing online I felt like I was undisciplined and not working hard enough.
Don’t get me wrong, I still love sharing my life on the internet, but I couldn’t shift the feeling I was missing out on having genuine experiences by living so much of my life online.
Feeling frustrated at my lack of work life balance I have actively been trying to distance myself from being online when it is making me unhappy and concentrating on finding harmony between living offline, and my desire to create online content.
This is the predominant reason for wanting to live a little more offline.
The people in my life are hugely important to me, and though they are supportive and understanding of what I do I often feel like I am not a very good friend – or even very good company – as I am always rushing around, on my phone, or I am distracted by the amount of work I’ve got to do when I get home. This behaviour needed to stop before I was consumed by my internet life, so now I am trying to make sure that when I am in the room I am actually there.
To do this I am trying to be more organised with my content so that people get my full attention.
I am also keeping my phone in my bag, unless it assists me in my offline life or is part of the conversation, so that I am engaged rather than mindlessly checking it every second out of habit.
Additionally I have been making plans to see friends at least once a week; even though I can check in with pals online, nothing gives me more inspiration or happiness than physically catching up and putting the world to rights.
The internet is an incredible tool for making new friends and staying in touch with people globally, but relationships need nurtured which is something I think I have, sadly, neglected in the last few months.
Creating Better Content
As a lifestyle blogger I really need to have some sort of life to write about.
I started Emma Inks to share the things that I love, which is mainly exploring London and travelling. Due to money (and the pressure I put on myself to work all the time) I have barely been outside recently and, honestly, I feel like a caged animal. My passion lies in exploration and adventure, which is pretty hard to find whilst chained to my desk.
So it’s time to shut my laptop, get out of the house, and feel inspired again!
I had a period where I was barely living offline to try and force myself to create content, but despite posting more my stats were not reflective of the amount of work I was putting in. I think that’s because even though I was creating a large quantity of posts, they were lacking heart, so I’ve decided to scale back and post less but (hopefully) better content.
I am inspired by the world around me and the people who I meet so I need to go out and have real life experiences to create the kind of content which I will be proud of.
Taking a break
The online world never sleeps but us mere humans have to.
It’s so easy to get fully immersed in what’s going on online, get caught up in comparisons, or reach the point of online burnout, but taking a break gives perspective and allows your brain to rest and readjust. Flicking between tabs, picking up my phone every three minutes, always looking for what was happening that second left me feeling constantly on edge.
I am not an all-or-nothing kind of gal, and really believe that moderation is key to many aspects of life. So instead of an all out break or digital detox I have added more structure to my social media timetable. So, now:
- Instagram gets half an hour in the morning and evening
- Twitter gets checked when I need a break
- Facebook is for lunchtimes and evenings (if I have done all my blogging for the day)
Having these limits on myself has freed up so much of my time to get on with work, and has not left me out of the loop in social media land – in fact having more dedicated time has seen my following grow for the first time in ages.
It’s not just social media I am taking a daily breaks from, but also my screen. Even at my most stressed and overwhelmed I am forcing myself to shut down my machine and step away to do yoga or go outside as my brain is not a computer and simply cannot keep running forever.
Taking a break from the work that I need to do may seem counter-intuitive, but has meant that the screen time I do have is way more productive.
Making the most of weekends
Before I started working for myself I was under the illusion that I would have more time and weekends that spanned as many days as I liked rather than the two that are given with your average 9-5. I can’t believe how naive I had been! When there is no clocking off time there is no stopping point, and there are no weekends unless you allow yourself to have them.
Quickly I have learned that even if I work 15 hours a day 7 days a week it never seems enough, the freedom of being my own boss is liberating but the lack of discipline is also daunting. Pablo and I both having our own businesses means that we both work tirelessly trying to strive for more, but with that ambition comes cost whether it’s our gym schedule slipping, eating unhealthily, the house becoming a tip, or not seeing each other there is always a price to pay for pushing so hard. That’s why weekends are firmly back on the schedule and have somehow become even more precious.
Turning off our laptops and putting our phones out of sight has allowed us to rediscover London again and start the week feeling refreshed.
This week I am in Scotland and though I want to share some of my beautiful homeland with you guys my priority is definitely going to be spending time with friends, family, and exploring this beautiful country because offline life is just as important as my online one.
Do you guys have any tips for maintaining a work life balance?
*Dress was gifted by Tobi but, as always, all words and opinions are my own.