note to self {managing the balancing act}

{recent arrangement I put together using leftover blooms from a client mockup. no floral foam for this girl, just patience, practice + balance}

With wedding season gearing up in full swing, I am 110% “on” these days. My office hours are filled with emails, timelines, layout plans, proposals, floral mockups, crafting, client calls, vendor prep meetings and more emails, and I really have zero time for distraction to get me off the path. iCal has become my best friend to help me stay on task, and I try to estimate how much time each task is going to take, and put it in my calendar so I’m not drifting off in to the social media time trap triangle - you know, facebook, twitter and pinterest. While I love all 3 social media outlets (and thanks to Sage Wedding Pros for featuring me last week on how I use each one), I also have to think about the tasks at hand, and whether these tools are going to help me or get me off track. 99% of the time, the answer is the latter, so I’ve been trying with all my might to eliminate all sources of distraction.

My first move was one that many friends questioned but was something that had to be done. Yep - I deleted the Facebook and Twitter apps from my iPhone. Gasp! What?! Why?? Well, why do I need them? To sit at a stoplight (oh come on you know you’ve all done it) and see if you have any new red notifications in the top left corner of Facebook, or refresh twitter to see what’s going on or who’s talking to you. In my mind, I can check in to those things when I get back to the computer, but it’s not something business or client-related which is going to help or hinder my work. Twitter and Facebook are really social, in my mind, and really don’t do anything for me except get me off track when I’m on a roll with my to-do list. By deleting the apps from my phone, not only was I getting my mental time back (a drive is just a drive now, vs. a trip from point A to point B with check-ins to see what’s going on online throughout), but I was also preventing the crooked neck syndrome. You know, you’re out to dinner and you look around you and 75% of people aren’t even talking to the person across from them, they’re buried in their phones. Or walking down the street with crooked necks, or turning on the phone the second the plane lands to see what they missed. I was that person at one point, and by deleting the two major sources of distraction, my neck is straighter than ever, and my to-do list is getting check marked like crazy. It feels really good to unplug, but by literally deleting access, I have no choice but to immerse myself back in to the real world. And I love it.

My second move was to limit my online time during the day. Considering my laptop and I are connected at the hip for 65% of the day (more or less, depending on the number of meetings or site visits I have that day), I have to be really stringent on my time spent on social media vs. time answering emails, drawing up renderings, or writing out timelines. My daily routine has now become: morning check-in of the online world over my cup of coffee (who am I kidding, I don’t even drink coffee but it sounds so much cooler than berry seltzer water haha) where I can see what’s new, what happened over the past 24 hours, and get it out of my system. Once I do a quick check-in, make some updates to my LLD facebook page or twitter, then that’s it. I’m off. And I won’t be back on until the end of the day. I kind of relate the whole social media thing to checking the mail when I was a kid. I always wanted to check the mail with the slight glimmer of hope that someone might have sent me a letter! Wasn’t that the most exciting thing when you were little? Well not the most exciting thing but you know what I mean. Now we can “check the mail” 7 million times a day and have the chance that you got “mail” via notification or mention. It’s crazy, but true. By limiting my online time I can get so much more done, and save the “checking the mail” for the end of the day, just like back in the day when the mailman would come.

All in all it’s all about balance - work life, personal life, social media - and whether we like it or not, social media is a piece of the puzzle. But it doesn’t have to take you off track from your ultimate plan. At least that’s my goal, anyways!

Happy Wednesday, everyone! Have you deleted these apps too? Join the straight-neck movement and do it! :)

  • Nic says on July 25, 2012 Reply

    I just. can’t. do. it. But good for you! I limit online access when I’m home, and especially when I’m with Ava, though. I don’t want her to think the phone is part of Mommy’s face.

  • bethany says on July 25, 2012 Reply

    Amen, sister. I’m not even a busy girl and I’m trying to reduce my time on that little device. Thankfully, I don’t have data on my iPhone in Kuwait since the cost is ridiculous…as soon as I leave the house I’m pretty much unplugged. (I turned on my data to check my email once. It cost me $50. I won’t ever do that again!)

    These are great tips, too. When I saw on FB that you’d deleted Twitter + FB, I really thought about doing it. Haven’t done it yet…but you’re slowly convincing me. ;)

  • Annie @ Marry You Me says on July 25, 2012 Reply

    I am dying over that arrangement Jacin! That would make such a gorgeous centerpiece - not too high, lots of interest, wild yet structured. I’m in love. :)

  • Jessica says on July 25, 2012 Reply

    Fabulous post Jacin. Very insightful. :)

    By the way… loving this arrangement!

  • Michelle Loretta says on July 25, 2012 Reply

    I haven’t deleted these apps from the phone - tho, I’ve been quite tempted to do so. While out on maternity leave, I turned my work email off. And, it was INCREDIBLE! The first few days were hard to do, but then I got used to not checking email. Now, that I’m back from maternity leave I still have it off my phone. REALLY - why do I need to be checking email when I’m not sitting at my desk?! It will still be there when I get back to the desk - which isn’t usually very long that I’m gone. It’s very liberating. (And with the iphone, it’s easy to slide email on/off if I am going to be out of the office all day.) Give it a try!

  • chandra ~ Oh Lovely Day says on July 25, 2012 Reply

    so true. You’ve gotta have balance. And that floral arrangement is FAB. You’ve got some serious talent in that area!

  • Valery says on July 27, 2012 Reply

    Love this post. Really got me thinking. Especially as any day now i will have a new “focus” in my life…one i really dont want to be distracted from. Thanks for the push to consider my plug in time

  • Laura *You Stir Me* says on July 30, 2012 Reply

    ha, this is so true and I’m so proud of you! Not only am I joining the straight neck movement, I’m joining the straight back movement! I’m trying to get off the couch, get away from my computer and the online world and get moving:) (hence my major lack of blogging.) You’re such an inspiration, Jacin - keep it up, hun!!!!

  • Paper Moss says on August 1, 2012 Reply

    THANK YOU for posting this. Seriously, I’d been thinking about deleting the apps from my phone and this was just the nudge I needed. Working on boundaries in life is such an important part of making sure you’re giving your “all” in all areas of work, family, volunteering, friendships, etc. Thanks for the inspiration, Jacin! xo

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