Reflections on Social Media, Goals, and Conscious Decisions About Time and Energy

 

""We wrapped up our five-year performance period at my day job, which ended on April 30, 2021. I have been busy filing reports and other loose ends. I took a much-needed week of vacation last week. Just doing some things around the house, but also taking time to reflect. I have started to think about the next five years (the length of the next funding period). What professional goals I might have, what will I do if we are not renewed in 5 years, what work-life balance will look like for me, and how best to use my time.

When this article came up in Feedly two weeks ago, it really struck a chord with me. Last May, I wrote I was taking a Twitter break, then pretty much promptly failed to do so. This article sums up my struggles with Twitter over the last eight years, why I want and need a break (maybe a permanent one). 

The Signal and The Noise

My friend Hugh, who saw the light and quit Twitter long before I did, has likened it several times to a poker machine. It’s shamelessly addictive. You’ll never get back what you put in. The best thing to do is to cut your losses and go.

Everyone is angry and no one is listening.

I am very aware that I owe my career to Twitter. Being a small Somebody and giving myself a platform helped me meet lots of great people, grow new ideas, stand up for what’s right. It has made me the librarian I am today. But it is so bad for my brain now.

It is worth reading the whole thing and reflecting on. That morning I posted this on Twitter. 

I am a Twitter break. You can find weekly links related to wellness & self care on my blog or on the FB page https://facebook.com/FosteringWellnessInLibraries…. You can reach me by email. Please prioritize your health and well-being. Set boundaries, reclaim your time, do what you need to do.

I am still thinking through the next five years, what my goals are, and most importantly, asking myself if the way I spend my time contributes to those goals. And if the way I spend my time is helping me or hurting me (and others). I have benefited so much from social media over the years; I have pursued advanced degrees focused on the effects of social media on our lives. Maybe, it’s age; maybe it’s time; maybe things have changed. But for years now, I no longer feel the good outweighs the bad. I have taken both Facebook and Twitter breaks and been pulled back in. I do want to connect with the friends and colleagues I have made over the years, but it needs to be in a way that does not cause more harm than good. 

Just about two years ago, I participated in a Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction eight-week program. I learned a great deal, and it has helped me over the last two years. When I remember to practice. Be present and mindful is a journey, not a destination. I hope to make more thoughtful decisions about my time and my work. (If you are interested in learning more about mindfulness, I recommend Mindful in LIS.) 

I know the information I share related to health and wellness resonates with people and often helps them. I will be continuing to do that work, so I will still have links and resources to share. I decided to return to the practice of a weekly post with important links and resources. You can subscribe via email on the right. I will also share them on the Facebook page

Here are a few links from the last two weeks. 

Parents, Take Your Sick Days – This article is aimed at parents, but it applies to everyone. “…90% of employees said they often or always went to work when they were sick.” Taking sick days when you need them, mentally or physically, is good for you, your coworkers, and your employer. You will get the time you need to recover; you will prevent spreading illness, improve your relationship with your coworkers and improve productivity overall by using your sick days. 

Companies Pressured People To Work Painfully Long Hours During The Pandemic—As The Job Market Heats Up, Workers Will Now Have The Power – Many library staff working from home reported working longer hours, struggling with work-life balance. Often due to micromanaging, unreasonable expectations, and other toxic behavior from managers and administration. 

Overwork Is Not A Strategy For Response To The Pandemic– I can’t entirely agree with everything in this article. Still, it links to some studies regarding overwork during the pandemic, the effects of pandemic stress on work and our minds and bodies. 

How to Deal with Constantly Feeling Overwhelmed – This article is over a year old but still has very relevant and we struggle with pandemic fatigue. Suggestions include: Pinpoint the primary source of overwhelm, Set boundaries on your time and workload, Challenge your perfectionism, Outsource or delegate, Challenge your assumptions. 

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