Living among the every day hustle of the modern world can get tiring. More than ever I hear people saying that they just wish that they could unplug for a few days. It can be a glorious thought to imagine a world where you don’t have to check your email twice a day, you don’t have to check your phone multiple times in an hour, and you are not concerned with how many comments that last post on Facebook received.
The reality is, in todays world, we do a lot of our living online. This is both helpful and hurtful for creative people. On one hand, we have access to art, ideas, and people that we may never have come across without the internet. We are able to connect with people all over the world and be inspired by people who live completely different lives. On the other hand, too much time behind our various screens can take us away from the amazing things happening in the real world all around us.
If you find yourself missing out on opportunities to spend time with friends, share in fun experiences, and meet new people, then you are probably spending too much time on the internet. Just like the balance we aspire to create between work and life, the balance between life online and off is very important. However, if you are like me, most of your work is done behind a computer screen. On an average day I need to edit photos on my computer, answer client emails, market through social media, and blog. My daily routine has me on the computer for hours and that is without catching up with friends online.
It is not reasonable for me to expect to operate my business without the use of a computer and to be honest…why would I want to? Having a computer makes my life a lot easier. If I didn’t have one, I would have to spend even more time on my business (and not the fun parts of owning a business). My computer allows me to get things done in a reasonable and timely manner. So how do I find balance for my life when it comes to the amount of time I spend behind a screen?
It is important to remember what needs to be done on the computer and what doesn’t. I need to edit my pictures on the computer. I do not need to use the computer to catch up with my close friends. Instead of writing on a friends wall, I can give them a call on the way home from a photo shoot to check in with them and see how they are doing. It is much more personal than using social media and it will help strengthen my bond with my friend more than a Facebook message would. I need to market my business online on a daily basis. However, I do not have to derive all my inspiration from online. Going on a 20 minute walk or spending 10 minutes writing in a journal can be just as inspiring if not more inspiring than anything I can find on the internet.
To keep myself balanced, I make sure that I spend one hour a day doing something that inspires me while I am not sitting behind a computer. I normally try to spend longer than one hour but I made a promise to myself to at least carve out an hour every day to do something I love while being unplugged. I am not a machine so I do not feel like my “batteries are charged’ by sitting in front of a screen but spending time in the real world helps me feel refreshed, renewed, and ready to solve even bigger modern day dilemmas.