Have you ever been burnt out on something? Usually a work task that has become repetitive to the point that any fun you once experienced in doing so has been drained. With the advent of social media, and the interactions and tools being available 24/7 it also becomes very easy to over extend and get too involved.
There are two parts to this that I want to cover, first – why or potentially how you got burnt out in the first place. Second, what you can do to get a little joy, or fun back into participating in these conversations.
Painting a broad brush stroke for how everyone gets burnt out is nearly impossible. However, usually the one common element that everyone shares is repetition. Whether it’s a common work task or the same environment day in and day out – doing the same thing over and over again can certainly get tiresome. One additional element, particular to social media, is the everlasting conversations.
In my particular case, I got burnt out by a number of things and while this piece is certainly not about me, there are one or two examples that can exemplify the points in this article. Although conversation with all my contacts over the various social media platforms is important, I had to shift my attention after the birth of my daughter. It really made me take a step back and evaluate how I was using social media and in many ways, overusing it.
So – how do you get back to enjoying being a part of the conversation?
- Evaluate what you did, and did not like about your participation.
- Determine if your stream of information is relevant, and engaging for what your goal may be.
- Decide on what your goals are, and the steps it will take to get there.
I know that in step 1 I was following about 20 Human Resources bloggers / professionals on Twitter – and over time I just gazed over their tweets not even paying attention, realizing they had no relevance to my future goals or profession. As recommended in step 2, I un-followed almost 200 people that were just not relevant to me or what I’m interested in learning or hearing about.
For instance, I’m passionate about entrepreneurship and startups. Thus I consistently engage in conversations with, and follow – venture capitalists, angel investors, technology advocates or evangelists, CEO’s, and general publications in the industries that I’m following. So, if I’m interested in web based startups, but also following a bunch of HR or life science professionals it may be easily distracting and thus drown out your interest in even logging on to your preferred social media platform. That’s not to say you can’t have an interest in other areas aside from the one you are in, but be aware of how much of your stream of content is being consumed by your “side interest” and for that matter that it is truly an interest. Once you realign the above, do something you enjoy–whether that is playing soccer, going to the gym, playing with your son or daughter, having a date night, or something else – and take a step away and truly absorb those moments. After doing so, you can return refreshed to an updated stream of content that is aligned and focused towards your interests.