Work-life balance in a 2.0 world

I love exploring the Web 2.0 thing and the possibilities it offers the world of workplace learning. I love that blogging gives me access to information and connects me with others in such awesome ways. But I am starting to feel a strong need to draw a line. Enough is enough! What I’m talking about is the increasing amount of time and energy it all takes. Screen suck, blather, aighhhh!!!!

Work/life, online/offline — we need balance, folks!

Although I have long been a proponent of work/life balance, I’m now seeing the need for more virtual life/ real life balance. And I’m finding that balance a bit more difficult now that I have gotten into blogging. It takes a lot of time to read even the headers of the main 10 or so blogs I subscribe to. Trying to write my own regular posts takes even more time, especially if I am creating something original, and not just gabbing about something I read somewhere else.

After seeing the odd hours at which some folks have commented to my posts, and the volume of posts on some of the blogs I follow, it is clear that it consumes a lot of time for a lot of people. The way I see it, the only way to really read/post regularly is to:

  1. Get paid officially to blog
  2. Blog on the clock at work
  3. Blog on your free time

1 and 2 are not options for me, except for the odd times when I need to conduct a bit of research for a professional reason. That means I blog at home. No big deal, but I need boundaries. You may or may not know it yet, but you need boundaries, too. It’s healthy.

Here are some nagging questions. Do you have answers?

  1. What ways have you found to effectively manage your blogging time?
  2. How do you stay tuned in the on-line world, without dropping out of your “real” world?
  3. How do you keep a work/life, online/offline balance?

What would Yoda do?


9 Responses to Work-life balance in a 2.0 world

  1. […] Work-life balance in a 2.0 world | The Shady Learning Blog | Kevin Shadix | 25 September 2008 […]

  2. […] Shadix writes in a September 2008 WordPress blog about the importance of Work-life balance in a 2.0 world.He asks four questions. How would you respond to […]

  3. […] Shadix writes in a September 2008 WordPress blog about the importance of Work-life balance in a 2.0 world.He asks four questions. How would you respond to […]

  4. Chrys Horn says:

    Hi Kevin,

    I’ve just started following your blog and have been puzzling over some similar kinds of questions. I suppose what we really need to know is how do we use Web 2.0 technologies intelligently. Like any tool, I guess unreflective “boots and all” style of activity won’t do it. It reminds me of the sentiments behind the adage: “To every man with a hammer, everything looks like a nail”!

    I gave you a mention in my blog in case its of any interest.


  5. Dan Johnson says:

    Hi, just came across this post because I’d read some news at the weekend about people cutting short their weekends because they are worrying about their forthcoming week at work. Apparently 40% of people resond to work emails on Sundays.

    I write regular blogs for the holiday company I work for and I have noticed recently that I spend lots of times outside of work hours planning topics, doing research, looking at other blogs and so on. Even an hour in the evening eats into the time I should be spending with my family.

    The key for me is trying to cut down the subjects I try to write about. When I started blogging I would follow up anything that caught my eye, which meant I spent lots of time researching topics I didn’t know much about.

    I’ve also cut down on the number of other blogs I try to read. It got to the point where I was spending more time thinking about ticking off the next blog, rather than thinking about the information in the blog I was actually looking at.

    A good RSS reader is also a must, so I don’t spend time logging into individual sites to catch up.

    My other tip is to save up good ideas rather than post everything at once. I used to post lots of different thoughts very close together, whereas now I’m much more content to leave time between posts to reduce the pressure on me.
    Hope that’s useful

  6. Kevin Shadix says:

    Janet and Dan — good idea using draft posts and saving ideas for posts. I started doing that. recently, and it definitely helps reduce the sense of overwhelm that. Plus it is nice way for me to just get ideas out of my head, since I typically have a gazillion going at any given time. 🙂

    Dan, you are spot on about the hour of time spent on blogging is a time perhaps better spent with family. That is the exact thing that has been bumming me out lately.

    Here’s a nice tip I found on a “getting things done” blog. Simply give yourself a time limit for any task….say 45 minutes to read blogs or write a post. Set your timer. At 45 min, stop, and go hug a dog, kid, spouse, or neighbor.

  7. carla arena says:

    Hi, Kevin, I guess the ones really into the Web nowadays face the same challenges as you do. I, besides all my online projects, have two little kids, a husband, a house to take care, my life to take care. I keep telling myself every morning that today I’ll stop at a certain time, but rarely do I really keep my promises…Your post is an eye opener for something I’m struggling myself. I’ve been writing in different blogs, my professional development one, my personal, one for former students, two for the course I’m teaching now. Crazy. I’ve become a fan of moblogging as it limits my capacity of writing longer posts and makes me more objective. I just take photos and blog via mobile. Setting a time limit could be one solution. Just the other day I found out that in gmail you have the option to have your screen blank after a certain time, break time! well, an alarm might work! Or even finding some new hobby that you could do with your wife. For example, before I moved to the US, I decided to give my husband and myself tennis lessons. It was just an incredible year of fun, but still very productive.

    I’ll keep following suggestions here to try to wind down my own addiction!

  8. zynga says:

    i would not have guessed this was excellent a number of years in the past yet somehow its interesting the way in which time varies the manner you have an understanding of a mixture of concepts, thanks regarding the write-up it is really great to start reading some thing clever once in a while instead of the widely seen crap mascarading as a blog on the web, i’m going to enjoy a couple of rounds of zynga poker, adios for now

  9. […] back,  I posted on my personal need to find “real life/virtual life” balance.   At that time, I started sensing that virtual life was negatively impacting real life, […]

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