Another crazy idea from the works of a very tired, very happy and VERY fulfilled mama that was constructed a couple of days ago when I asked my husband for some loving help and advice. You see, I need structure in my life. Timing. Timelines. Scheduling. I like schedules of schedules. OHHH yeah I love that! I love to know what to expect from everything and how I can prepare! And I know a lot of that just admitted I’m slightly fearful of the unknown but it’s actually quite amazing HOW well I’m able to handle the unknown or unexpected at the same time! Hello, I shoot weddings! Ebb and flow of a wedding day should be reworded to the tropical storm/hurricane of a wedding day shooting process, it’s everywhere and wild sometimes! But, I can definitely run with that!!
It came to our realization (Mike’s and mine) that we were scrolling through Instagram/social media a couple times an hour and then staying for a little longer than we really wanted to be on there. We knew this for a while but I guess we never addressed it until we both got kind of tired of being tired about it. My first thought was — great, I’m addicted! I really am! I dropped the Facebook checking and posting as much (I haven’t had the app on my phone for over a year! I have to log into Safari to even get on if I am on my phone! The extra effort makes it less worth it to hop on as often, and I don’t even have a Facebook wall so that’s less to check!) and now I’m like ALWAYS on Instagram because you guys– it’s an AWESOME platform! And community! I love seeing you talk about your new babies and your dreams coming true, sharing quotes about truth and hard days and connecting with one another! It is truly a BEAUTIFUL thing, and I don’t wanna run away from that!
But…I need to control and manage my time spent with it.
It’s keeping me connected and in the know with some of my favorite people. These industry dreamers that fuel my heart like at Creative at Heart! But…it was becoming a time suck for me and that broke my heart. Do I wanna leave it behind? Heck no!! I’m getting on EVERY single day still! I love it too much! But…how about taking something that’s good for you and your business that you absolutely enjoy and throwing a little structure around it to help with the lack of control occurring when the time passes from minute 5 to 20? You can take the time you’re devoting to it and you could give it MORE efficient attention in shorter bursts of time and feel less guilt from ignoring your loved ones!
We came up with this..we would try to only check Instagram FOUR times a day. We have 15 minutes from the hour it starts to scroll, like, comment and reply to our comments…but that’s it! As I’m writing this…I can literally hear some people say “that’s too often anyways!” Or the other side of the spectrum…”that’s not nearly enough!” — We are all so DIFFERENT!! Honestly, I would love to admit I don’t even check it four times a day now but ohhh I do! And most of my friends do, too!
Let’s examine a little further below.
* We chose the times 8, 12, 4 and 10. These just work personally for us, they may look different for others!
* It works in short intervals. 8-8:15, 12-12:15..so that I have to be INTENTIONAL and deliberate with that short period of time.
* Here’s the thing though– 4 fifteen minute bursts? That’s an hour of my day. That’s 7 hours a week. That’s 28 hours a month…which is over ONE FULL DAY. And here’s where things get real. If we’re being honest, this is LESS TIME than MOST OF US SPEND NOW. If I just told you I can’t go over 15 minutes four times a day on this and then put it into perspective that’s that is a day of your life a month going into social media..what are your thoughts?! Some people won’t blink…but I absolutely blinked!
* That really is a wake up call! But in all fairness to myself and others, this is the most efficient way to stay connected to so many, especially as a mom of younger babies! The quickest way to see my friends updates, news, keep up with my happy brides, watch my colleagues grow and flourish, and so for me..it’s like my little window outside of my small town to make sure everyone is happy and okay 🙂 It’s not all bad!!! It’s just necessary to cut down in time and add a little structure to it, for me at least!
* If you’re like me and you know you are going to need to check, answer comments (I know, I know, I’m trying to get better about it!!), post for business and really utilize it as a business tool, and you’re afraid you’ll miss your window, set reminders or little alarms on your phone to say hey, you’ve got one minute until 12pm, get ready to take care of your Insta-biz! I look at clocks enough to be able to anticipate it, but that option is always there. Additionally, I knew I couldn’t hold this structure at the conference this past weekend! On really busy and happening days and weekends, I’ll have to rearrange a little..but I’ll abide by whatever I go with!!
I am spending a lot of time on this stuff. Are you, too? If you want to, try this “cut down” and see how it feels! You may be pleasantly surprised at the results because I’m not messing around– sometimes, we even need STRUCTURE for our carefree and frivolous activities because it’s so easy to get lost and keep scrolling!
See if you can go one day with the 8, 12, 4 and 10 method! I have only tried it so far on one day, and then I consequently was thrown off by fulfilled obligations at the Creative at Heart Conference recently..so I decided it was okay to catch up and post whenever, but overall– I want to see this ESPECIALLY implemented on days where I have scheduled office hours or days off at home with the girls. Times I’m MORE likely to get sidetracked and distracted!
Today is going to be my first day and attempt to stay on track and try this for a month straight! If I have a little heavier social media to attend to, I will schedule in additional breaks mentally, but overall….mama’s rolling with it Insta-structure!! HAPPY FRIDAY!! 🙂