Progress (professional, personal, or otherwise) often proceeds incrementally before going exponential.
Unfortunately, it seems I’m stuck in the former phase. Don’t get me wrong – taking a rain cheque on Canada’s never-ending winter of 2018 has been awesome (though, I am starting to get concerned the polar vortex might never leave the Prairies).
Two steps forward, one step back
Like going the wrong way on a moving sidewalk, I’m making progress, but not as quickly as I could be – this is mainly due to deeply ingrained habits I have yet to shake.
I have had success on some fronts – I have managed to raise rates on some clients, and bring others aboard at higher rates than in the past.
Other battlegrounds have been a slog – specifically, my use (abuse?) of social media. Despite initial efforts to harness them for business purposes four years ago, I have largely been a passive consumer of sites like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram.
Being continually slammed with work in 2017 reinforced this, as I would retreat into these platforms for relief from the constant 12+ hour workdays which, depressingly, appeared to have no end in sight.
Moving in the right direction
Thankfully, as mentioned in a previous post, I summoned the courage to cut a high volume client loose late last year. This gave me the space I needed to recover from what had been an unsustainable workload. It also gave me time to reflect on the trajectory of my life and career.
Here’s one epiphany I’ve had lately: social media sites (apart from content created by family, close friends, and top-shelf brands) are little more than a time sink. If not actively managed, it can swallow up hours which could have been used to enrich your life, your career, or your business.
After dissecting my use of social media, I have stopped checking feeds first thing in the morning, I have imposed a 2x daily limit for checking accounts (apart from business use), and have slapped a five-minute time limit on scrolling through my Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram feeds.
Some people cut these platforms out of their lives entirely, and I understand why. As someone who makes their living online, though, maintaining a professional presence is a must.
As such, I have committed to re-establishing my presence on this site’s accounts – however, I’ll be doing my best to avoid falling down the social media rabbit hole – wish me luck 🙂
Mexico (and Guatemala) so far
Enough with the dry, boring stuff: over the past two months, I have been holed up in Mexico. Most of my time has been spent in Playa del Carmen – however, I am presently writing this from the mountain town of San Cristobal de las Casas.
I’m on the return leg of a trip which took me to Guatemala. Initially, the journey was also slated to include Nicaragua, but a sudden foot injury ended those dreams. Let’s just say I will never go on a pub crawl in flip-flops again.
In the week ahead, I will be returning to Playa, as the seaweed invasion which engulfed its beaches back in early March has vanished. Stay tuned for posts detailing what I have been up to lately, as well ones telling from my year-long trek through Asia, Africa, and Europe, which went down throughout 2017.
How has the first quarter of 2018 gone for you? Tell me about it in the comments below!