As Deb and I are relaxing on vacation in Maine, some insights popped into my head that I’d like to share.
We all know that Time is a precious commodity, and we often seem to shuffle to get it all done. So many of the tips we hear about are based on an assumption that we have all day to sit at our desk and focus on being productive.
A Different Take On Managing Our Time
In my experience, the available time for someone marketing online usually falls into one of these broad categories…
1. Big, Focused Blocks to Work on the Business
This, to me, is the most blissful state in which to work. Usually, I can take the entire day to work on my Internet business. After getting the daily maintenance tasks behind me, I can work on a big project uninterrupted. This time flies by and is the most rewarding.
2. Competing Attention with Other Business Interests
In this mode, there are other tasks competing for my attention, such as remnants of my real estate life, banking matters, taxes, etc. I really want to be working on the business, and often, by the time I get around to it, it’s well into the day. The result is a less than satisfying experience on either work front.
3. Having to be Flexible and subject to Interruption at any Time
I’m fortunate that this doesn’t come up very often given my life situation. This typically characterizes a parent who’s trying to juggle building a business with raising a family, and perhaps another job.
4. Only Having small 1 to 2 Hour Snippets Available
Then, there are those days, such as when guests are visiting…or if you’re shuffling your business with a JOB…that you can only work for small focused periods. For me, I’m amazed at how much I get done in these periods, probably because it’ll be the only time I have for the day. Typically when I go on vacation, I’m in this mode. This is when I’m at a motel or coffee shop, and I’m catching up before engaging a day of sightseeing.
5. A Circumstantial or Emotional Space Where Working is the Last Thing on Our Mind
And then, there’s total down time…like when you go to that island vacation where you don’t even bring your computer…or, as I found myself yesterday…in a rustic lake cabin in Maine without internet access and with rain pouring down outside. My greatest desire was to read my novel, visit with friends, and nap all day.
A Lesson in Balance
My big insight into all this is one of perfect balance…and perspective. It’s easy for me to relish those days when I can get into my work with little distraction and big, focused blocks of time.
Yet, on the other hand, there are times when it just makes sense to let it go, even if I have full internet access. As I am visiting dear friends in Maine, and making new acquaintances, I don’t want my memories to be of days spent online and missed “connecting” opportunities.
So, cherish the balance that life brings to our table. That lack of “in the moment” internet connection may just lead to better long-term connectivity than one can see in the moment. In the bigger scheme, it all works out perfectly.