Recently on the TODAY Show, the anchors created a new word – DIGIN. The exact definition of “digin” is vague since everyone had some fun interpreting how it could be used but my interpretation is:
DIGIN – di-jin (noun) A person who is always typing into their phone, involved in social media. (verb) The act of constantly being online and active in social media.
Instantly, I identified myself as a Digin. Oh yes, I spend many, many hours online each day. As a matter of fact, being perfectly honest, I probably spend more time on my computer than any other activity. Gulp… including having meaningful interactions with my family.
When you don’t have office hours
Since I blog as a business, I think it is important to have hours set aside where I can concentrate on my blogs and social media accounts. When I don’t have a definitive time for social media or writing, I just sit with the laptop or iPad and get drawn into the ultimate time sucks of Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.
Without office hours:
- I lose the spontaneity of playing with my children because I always think, “I need to be working.” My home stays in a shambles because I am “working” so much. I will have dark shadows under my eyes because I am staying up late to “work.”
- I am unavailable for my husband and unwilling to listen to his stories and concerns because I am focused on what I need to do.
- My home stays in a shambles because I am “working” so much. I will have dark shadows under my eyes because I am staying up late to “work.”
- I will have dark shadows under my eyes because I am staying up late to “work.”
Ask me how I know? Because I lived in that constant state of mind where “work” was defined by always having the laptop in front of me and thinking that time wasted did not matter as long as I was doing something online.
But, is it work or is it an excuse? Worse than that, is it a habit, laziness, or an addiction?
Why you need office hours
As a professional blogger, I need structure to: 1) keep me from being a workaholic; 2) help me focus on the most important business within the hours I set; and 3) give me unstructured time with my family to watch them grow because the days are short.
Avoid working all the time
I am a workaholic. Honestly, I am a perfectionist and can easily become addicted to anything because my inclination is to seek a self-esteem boost from my performance.
While I could write an entire post about why you should not seek to find self worth through your business, let’s suffice to say that working all the time is not healthy.
I need office hours to provide a healthy boundary for where my business belongs.
Prioritize your to do list
When I know that I have a set number of hours and a list of things to do, I am forced to prioritize my agenda based on what has to be done first.
By creating a list and then setting a priority to the list, I can overcome the overwhelming feeling that I have something to do but have no idea what to do first.
Stay on task
I am also easily distracted. I can go to Pinterest looking for a specific post and an hour later find myself wondering what I was looking for in the first place. Same deal for me with Facebook.
When I am on the computer, I have to designate what I am doing and when. I use a handy Chrome app called Strict Workflow to keep me focused during my writing time. When active, Strict Workflow does not allow me on social media.
You can change the defaults to work with your timing and you can edit the list of banned websites if you have an inclination to… I don’t know… stalk movie stars on TMZ or something that is not set by default.
Focus on your family
Most of us are blogging as a business in order to improve our family’s situation.
I am painfully aware that when I am sucked into the abyss of social media that I am creating an entirely new set of issues within my family that is working against my ultimate goal.
A Time Management Challenge
As you carefully consider whether or not you need office hours, I want to encourage you to do what I plan on doing this week…
Keep a journal of your time online.
I’ve created a printable time log so you can have it next week when we decide how many office hours we really need to blog as a business and when to designate those hours during our week.
Subscribe and receive this time log to track your hours.
Let’s be honest about what is truly necessary in our businesses and be accountable to our family and to one another.