I want to preface this to point out a misinterpretation of this document that makes me anxious. I'm NOT doing this because I'm full of myself or want to be difficult for no good reason.
We live in a world where most of our tech is competing for our attention by manipulating our psychology to create profitable behavioral addictions.
The result of these addictions is hyper-responsiveness, a need for instant gratification, and being less social in real life because it's easier to just click like than go through the added friction of scheduling a meet-up or phone call.
You're a good person.
So when someone wants that not-so-quick call you say yes because you think you have no say in changing how that interaction plays out. Maybe this time it'll be a good chat? It's just one more possibly long quick chat that can't hurt, right?
But I refuse to lose myself and the things I value to informational clutter from apps, screens, and notifications. And I accept some people might feel upset and disappointed by the boundaries I've set.
And while I created this manual to protect my peace of mind, my time, and limited energy I hope that explaining my thinking challenges and inspires you to put boundaries of your own in place to live a richer life.
Why and how I use social media + what I'm open to.
I used to think I needed to be active on every platform and ultra-responsive to become and stay relevant as a marketer.
I still believe in the power of creating content around your personal brand.
But I've experienced first-hand how easy it is for social media to become counter-productive and mentally destructive if you don't have filters in place to help you decide:
- What are your goals and things that matter to you?
- What are you hoping to get out of social media?
- How much time are you honestly willing to set aside for social media?
- Which platforms can you be on considering some are more intensive than others and geared toward people good with specific content formats?
- Realistically, which of these platforms presents a significant advantage for you?
- What will you talk about?
- What kind of brands/people will you interact with?
Why do I use social media?
- To share what I learn at work because it makes recruiting easier for me.
- To occasionally collaborate on evergreen content (podcasts, blogs, YouTube videos) that'll increase awareness of my personal brand
Unless I'm expecting a message, I don't routinely check my DMs or seek out content to engage with.
I strongly prefer richer conversations virtually or IRL when/if possible. Growing an online community or achieving a large following due to being hyperactive/responsive on social is not something I'm interested in for myself.
What I post about
- Content marketing
- Marketing design
- Content writing
- Hiring and managing a freelance team
- Digital minimalism and mental health
- The occasional marketing meme
How to have useful meetings with a clear agenda and outcome.
I don't do meetings without a clear and agreed-upon agenda shared before booking the call.
Rather than booking a meeting anytime something pops up my question is, what's the best approach to solve this problem?
Here's my preferred approach to meetings:
- Asynchronous Discussion: Chat about the problem via slack or email and provide as much context as possible. We'll discuss and find the root of whatever it is we need to solve. If a meeting is needed, we'll both be on the same page about what the agenda needs to be and what we want to get out of it after.
- Real-Time Collaboration: We agree on the agenda of what we need to discuss/solve and what we will get out of having the discussion.
Meetings are for solving problems that require real-time discussion and brainstorming OR for casual hangouts with your remote team.
Email + Slack for Work
How to mindfully communicate asynchronously.
How we communicate in a world where working remotely is increasingly common means knowing how to express ideas in a way that's mindful.
- Urgency: If something is time-sensitive, say so.
- Context: Share the context, the problem, and any other specifics about what you need. The more context the better.
How I share what I know
(without destroying myself in the process)
I'm honored you thought of me and love you're pursuing exciting things! But I'm not interested in doing any kind of mentorship outside of my job that requires me to set aside time and energy that I don't have.
As much as I wish I had the leftover energy at the end of the day. I don't. I can't be that person for you. I'm an introvert and any time/energy I can spare goes to family, friends, taking care of myself, and hobbies.
But I do care about giving back in my own way. That's why I like to document things here. I plan to write a post one of these days about free and paid resources that have helped me as a self-taught content marketer.
Until then, I find a good chunk of questions people ask me can be answered through:
- An hour of intensive Googling
- Searching my blog content or tweets
- Buying a course or finding someone who does offer guidance
- (My Favorite) Taking a stab at what you want to do even if it's sloppy, messing up, and learning from your own mistakes so you start succeeding.
📚 Related reads I loved
- Here’s What It Costs To Say Yes
- Maker's Schedule, Manager's Schedule
- Digital Minimalism by Cal Newport
- Deep Work by Cal Newport