3 small ways to change the way you use social media

Social media plays a significant role in many peoples lives. However, when used in certain ways it can come with negative implications such as wasting time, unnecessary feelings of jealousy and distracting you from what you really care about.

Here are 3 small ways to avoid or at least reduce those negative implications whilst still using social media:

Set a timer for how much you can use it
It could be 1 hour a day or it could be 15 minutes. If your aim is to regain more time try and figure out how much time you spend on the app before it begins to take you away from things you’d be better off doing.

Regularly update who you
Every few months I update who I’m following and unfollow the accounts I’m no longer interested in seeing. It could be a content creator who shares amazing photos but is always trying to sell me something, someone I went to school with 10+ years ago who I haven’t spoken to since and rarely interact with or someone I came across a few months ago whose images don’t interest me as much as I thought they would.

Use your phone to post and your desktop to browse and interact
I’ve found that I spend much less time browsing on Instagram and twitter when I’m on my laptop compared to my phone. And so if you’re able to, try just using your phone for posting and do everything else from the big screen.

You don’t need to rely on remembering

If you have lots to get done and you find that you keep forgetting things a to do list might be a useful tool to start using.

You don’t have to rely on remembering everything, instead you can just write it all down, give yourself deadlines and figure out the things that matter most.

Then, you can start working through the list and keep going back to it until everything is done.

The alternative is to try rely on your memory, keep it all in your mind and risk forgetting to do something that needs to be done.

5 Reasons your blog might not be going as well as you’d hoped

Your content isn’t cohesive

If your content varies greatly, it doesn’t allow you to appeal to any set of people as an audience. As good as it may seem to have mass appeal, if you want to build an audience the best thing you can do is start small.

You post inconsistently

If your reader know that you put a new post out every Sunday they will come to expect it and even look forward to it. If you say you’ll post every Sunday and sometimes you do but other times you post on tuesday or you skip a week, readers may lose interest because you’re no longer showing up in the way that you said you would.

You haven’t reached the right audience

Seth Godin has said many times, you’re either not reaching the right people or you’re not making good enough stuff. You’re content could be outstanding quality but it’s important that the right people find your work as that is why you created it in the first place.

You make too many changes

If the colours, logo, and layout of your site are constantly changing, readers won’t come to recognise it. This means readers won’t be able to establish that sense of familiarity when they visit your site, it will feel like something new each time you change something.

You don’t stand out

Obviously there is no way to be totally unique and often people copy the stuff that they’ve seen work for others in the hopes that they will achieve the same success. However, if the look of your site and content that you post is exactly the same as 1001 other people, what incentive is their for readers to choose your site over another?

If you’re a regular reader you may notice that there are things on this list I’ve done or even continue to do. The purpose of this list is to offer some ideas because sometimes when things aren’t going well we get so overwhelmed that we don’t even think of reasons why.

Once you identify the reasons things aren’t going well, you can put a plan in place to overcome them.

In the spirit of getting things done


I think that most people that procrastinate also have periods of intense productivity. It’s the only way to keep things in balance otherwise they’d just fall apart and miss deadlines.

I find that as much as a person may procrastinate they are also capable of getting things done if they create the right environment fo themselves.

Perhaps, they will write a to do list that they are able to focus on completing tasks whereas usually they would look at the list but take little to no action. They’d tell themselves that they’ll do it later or do it tomorrow even if it could be done right now, even if it would only take 10 minutes.

But when this same person is in the spirit of getting things done, they are able to get mote done in a few hours or a day than they would usually get done in the space of a week.

3 daily blogging writing routines

A few ideas for writing routines for those that blog everyday.

Write a full post on your commute to and from work

If you work 9-5 this gives you the opportunity to write 10 posts within 5 days and then at the weekend you don’t have to write at all. Getting into the routine of writing at a set time each day means you start associating that specific time with the writing process which can help you find your flow.

Write one post every evening

This is the most simple routine. It gives you the whole day to live your life and the evening can become a time of reflection where you think about what has happened throughout the day and then choose something to write about. The only issue with this method is it doesnt allow you to have time off.

Write at any time of day but batch schedule your posts

This allows you to work quite freely whilst the batching means you can always stay a few days ahead or give yourself time off from writing.

3 things to to before you get carried away

Move

Whether it be taking a walk, doing a workout or having a solo dance party. Moving your body enables you to let go of the energy that is weighing you down, overwhelming you and will eventually lead you to getting carried away

Write

Just start writing something about how you feel and see where it goes. Don’t focus on it being good, write for yourself and be honest. You might find that you thought you were upset about one thing but really you were upset because it reminded you of something from the past.

Rest

Slow down, stop and take a rest. You’ll wake up feeling refreshed and with a much clearer head rather than indulging in thoughts that only make you feel worse.

How to be a better listener

Don’t offer advice
Don’t offer advice until the person asks for it. People often make the assumption that when someone is talking about an issue they want to be told what to do. However, many times a person just wants to express themselves and feel heard.

Show that your engaged verbally
Muttering a generic hmmm, every now and then is sometimes what is done to portray a false sense of engagement but often the case is you’re probably just not interested. The ‘hmmm’ can also be a sign that you want to let them know you’re listening. You can also use short phrases like ‘I can’t imagine what that’s been like’ or ‘that must be difficult’ to show you’re engaged or you could ask questions.

Show that you’re engaged physically
Looking at your phone, being turned away from the person and not making eye contact can show a lack of interest. Don’t be distracted, have your body facing them and make eye contact.

Lastly, two things to remember, if you don’t want to listen then just say so instead of doing it half heartedly. Secondly, you can’t expect someone will want to come and talk to you if you don’t show that you’re interested in what they have to say.

How it started

In September 2019, I made a list of 12 things I needed to do before I was ready to launch my daily blog.

Some of them were things I had to do like pick a name and decided whether to have the option of likes and comments. Others were things to think about, like deciding whether to have social media for the blog and what the Instagram feed would include.

I didn’t complete all twelve things before I began but things still turned out pretty good.

Looking back over the list serves as a useful reminder. You don’t need to do as much as you think you need before you get started.

So often, we end up using not being ready or not prepared enough as an excuse to not begin which comes from a place of fear, it’s rarely because we actually need more time.

The pros and cons of an Instagram portfolio

Some thoughts I had whilst thinking about where to share my photos in the future.

I’m not a photographer but over the past couple of years my interest in prop styling/ product photography has grown and I really enjoy taking photos. I’ve thought about creating a portfolio website to share my work but then I found myself wondering if it was even necessary. The intention would be to also share on Instagram however, I started to think that perhaps just having Instagram would be enough.

Pros

Used by over 1 billion

Your work has the potential to reach so many people because Instagram is such a popular app. On the other hand your website may be much harder to find.

Create a community of fellow creatives

You’re likely to find through the use of hashtags a community of fellow creatives. Not just people that take photos but people in your city, peopke you can learn from, people you can teach and people you can grow with.

Directly interact with your audience

The people viewing, liking and commenting on your work may just be random people that think your photos are interesting. However, they could also be potential clients. But you also have the chance to interact with your audience and take them on a journey with you.

Cons

Image quality

Sometimes the images you post to your Instagram feed are of a reduced quality when compared to if they were uploaded to a site

Limited flexibility on how you can present

Compared to a website Instagram offers little flexibility. There are some things you can do to present images differently such as placing them on a white square that you post to your feed. But overall everything on Instagram is fairly uniform.

Getting distracted

Instagram comes with many distractions. As much as it allows you to interact with fellow creatives and an audience who may become potential clients, you can also end up wasting a lot of time. From getting distracted by the number of likes and followers to replying to comments and spending hours scrolling. In contrast when updating an online portfolio you won’t have notifications and messages to distract you.


I also think having a website can make a person appear more trustworthy, legitimate and professional. Anyone can have an Instagram account but taking the time to create a website isn’t something everyone would do. As someone who enjoys having their own personal space to share work online, the idea of only having an Instagram portfolio isn’t particularly appealing.

I think a website is the perfect base or foundation for your work, to share a bit about yourself, provide contact info and also what work people can pay you for. On the flipside Instagram is great for a more causal approach such as chatting with followers, sharing behind the scenes and answering questions.