Running a social media agency is tough. Along with managing a calendar full of internal and client calls, staying on top of industry trends, and executing day-to-day tasks, my inbox averages 90 incoming and 20 outgoing messages daily. On Slack, I have posted 2,951 times over the past 30 days, and receive an average of 2.5 Slack notifications per minute Monday through Friday.
Constantly getting barraged by interruptions, it’s nearly impossible to think beyond the immediate. On a micro-daily level, this is fine- but it doesn’t work for the type of big picture thinking needed to be truly successful in today’s fast-paced climate.
How do I combat this issue?
I make sure to take breaks where I’m completely offline. A rest from the bombardment of things coming at me creates a space for myself to think on a higher level.
The most effective breaks come when I’m in the ocean, preferably on a surfboard or kiteboard. No emails, no Slack, no urgent client requests- Only space to think freely or to be free of thought. Taking breaks opens my mind for the breakthrough ideas that only happen when I disconnect.
Realizing the importance of disconnecting was the first step. Learning actionable ways of achieving that balance was the next challenge. Because I can’t go surfing every day, I’ve found additional ways to take breaks. For me, this is exercise. If I can’t be in the water, I make an effort to at least go on a quick run or do push-ups, stretches, and so forth, every day. If I’m not feeling up for that, 20 minutes of meditation will do the trick. This small amount of time without distractions on a daily basis allows myself the mental space to tackle the macro level challenges that I face.
To get started for yourself, here are some tips to work towards reaching an ideal work-life balance, unlocking the creativity and ideas needed to be the best addition to your team:
1. Set time where you are disconnected
We are all addicted to our phone. While it’s probably not a great thing, it is the reality for many of us. However, it’s essential to find time to shut it all off. Not just work communications, but all notifications, texts, and calls. It doesn’t need to be for a long period of time, but setting time to disconnect from your phone every day (or most days) will lower stress, while increasing creativity and productivity. I guarantee this.
2. Find a hobby and set a goal
We make goals for ourselves at work: Get a promotion. Find a new job. Nail the next presentation. These goals are of course instrumental to moving your career forward, but life needs balance. By staying dedicated to a hobby and setting goals for it, you’ll naturally take time to disconnect from work while also doing something both productive and fulfilling. For example, set a goal to run an eight minute mile, learn a new cooking technique, or get back on track with yoga and meditation.
3. Think long-term and big picture
It’s easy to get caught up on the barrage of things coming at you daily. But before you start your day, take a moment to visualize your long-term goals, and focus on the specific daily tasks that help get you closer to achieving them. Taking a step back can help relieve the anxieties from your workload, and help you gain clarity on priorities.
Whether it’s going on a run, meditating, or working to get better at your favorite hobby, creating space for yourself to disconnect is essential to unlocking big picture thinking. Make it a habit to set aside time without distractions on a consistent basis, and watch your creativity grow. The point is taking a break- not because you need a break from work- but because you will never be great at work unless you do.
Movement Strategy is a social media and digital marketing agency for leading entertainment & sports, lifestyle & ecommerce, and food & beverage brands.
© Movement Strategy 2019
© Movement Strategy 2019