Social Media is transformative and magnificent. It is also time consuming for most people, and it can lead to relationship overwhelm. You find so many amazing people out there who share your belief, interests, passions, and humor.
If you are trying to create more space in your life for what matters most to you, here are 5 ways you can save yourself from relationship overwhelm.
- Time allocation. Create office hours – during a set time, you connect to people. Maybe it is 8-9am or 4-5pm every day. Maybe it is 2 days a week. How many hours do you want to give it? Maybe you have 5 hours a week, and you track how many you use. Experiment to find the method of time management that fits you and your lifestyle. Do what works.
- Rings of priority – who is in the center, who is on the periphery? Make sure to give time to those people that really matter. Filter your social media feeds, so you always can see what they are up to. Be clear with yourself what your criteria are for being near that center loop of connections. The periphery is important too, as a resource for bringing in new information. Find balance for yourself. Don’t cut it off…but don’t get lost there either. What will help you hold that? Is it a container of time? A medium of communication?
- Make a request. Share with your network your aim to manage your relationships so you can be a better friend and contributor. Say something like, “I cherish you and the wonderful connections I have, AND, in order to be a better friend, I want to be more careful about how I am giving attention. Can you please consider if contacting me is urgent, important, or valuable? I hope this helps us improve the quality of our connection.”
- Make REGULAR sacred space – no tech, all family, or even all alone time. Hold it as your recharge time. Budge anything on your calendar before you give this up. Think of it as your morning oatmeal. Without it, you can’t bring your best self to the world. I don’t mean sacred as in religious practice. I mean sacred as in – never give this up. You are too important in your life not to make time for yourself. I have done this for years, and found it really rewarding. Oh, and do communicate to your connections that you have this boundary so they can respect it. They will hold it ONLY to the degree that you take it seriously.
- Think in longer time frames and make daily decisions on those frames (and not the minute to minute ones). Think of what you want your life to be like over the next 5 years. What can you do today that helps you have that life? What is un-necessary, superfluous, repetitive (doing it twice or more isn’t adding value or enjoyment)? Imagine wiping your calendar completely free. No obligations. What do you want really and truly to add back in? (This often happens when you have a major crisis happen – it gives you permission to start over.)
“What are you going to do with this one wild and precious life?” ~ Mary Oliver