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What To Do When You Can't Quite Keep Up
Overwhelmed, exhausted, and it's only 6am
No, I am not referring to your creative workload.
What do you do when your inbox is overloaded, the blog posts keep arriving, your RSS feed is full of hundreds of tantalizing titles commanding you to read them, and your Twitter feed- well we won’t even talk about that. You have only had a few sips of coffee and already feel defeated and as though you might as well go back and climb in bed.
Disclaimer: not everyone works from home and I do not intend to offend those who do not have a bed immediately at hand to climb back into. I wish you could go take a nap just as much as you do.
Technology is commanding your attention, your phone will not stop beeping with notifications, and your job requires that you stay on top of it all. If you feel overwhelmed and lost amid thousands of pieces of content written by experts and amateurs alike, it is likely caused by the marketing of marketing.
Yes, even within the marketing industry we are marketed to all the time.
The marketing message, as all good ones should be, is consistent, repetitive, and drives consumers to act. The charge commands, “If you don’t read every piece of content you will likely miss valuable information and, consequently, fall behind, fail to replicate ideal content/make the right business decision/wake up properly without caffeine, lose your job and end up squatting in a shack somewhere with many cats.”
Missing an article here or there is not going to put you in danger of losing out on everything. It might not be an everyday experience, it might be rare for you to feel this way, maybe you have never felt so lost in piles of writing, but I doubt it.
What do you do when you can’t quite keep up?
Scan through the titles and descriptions, clip a few to whatever news aggregating source you use, and ignore the rest. A few different authors will repeat most ideas and new material; maybe tomorrow you can catch up on ideas you missed today. Somehow, as long as you are reading and trying to keep up, you will learn.
It is hard to let go. The push for new content production on a daily basis drives marketers, public relations personnel, and social media strategists to create large amounts of copy to be used across platforms without a moment to breathe. The push also may send a marketer or two to the psychiatric ward, but that is another topic altogether.
Instead of trying to read every article, post, and trending topic, take a course focused on a new subject. There are lots of professional development opportunities, Mediabistro, for instance, has a wide array of courses. So do the Online Marketing Institute, Lynda.com, and Hootsuite University, just to name a few*.
What do you do? Sit back, start your morning without immediately connecting to your social streams, even blow off the marketing message. When you're good and ready, take time to read the first few topics that catch your eye, really engage with them, and ignore the rest.
You will survive. You might even thrive. I also recommend occasionally reading books instead.
*I am in no way affiliated with or endorsing these professional development sites. They are provided as examples only.