Welcome to our monthly feature The PR Desk! Written by PR professional Heather Travis, it guides food bloggers on the ins and outs of navigating the world of PR agencies and brands. This month, Heather talks about going "down-periscope" — spending time offline to focus on things that matter to you.
I love my mobile. I call it a mobile like the Brits do because that description is so much more accurate. It’s my mobile office, my mobile photo studio, my mobile everything.
Except it actually isn’t everything and sometimes that mobile makes us miss things, important things.
I don’t just mean we miss the metaphorical smelling of the roses. We do, of course, but we also miss hearing our inner creative, we miss experiencing quiet, and we miss out on the opportunity to ignore "the others" and the impact they have.
Who are the others?
These others live on the other side of the island from us. You know the place, the place where the grass is always greener. The grass seems greener because we see them only in the glimpses they allow us to see through their social feeds. We see them as they want us to see them, curated and envy worthy.
The others are bloggers we love, bloggers we love to hate, our friends, our family, people/places/companies who inspire us, and guilty pleasures (hello @MenwithCoffee!). Who the others are is different for each of us, but the others are there and they impact our creativity.
We compare ourselves, we emulate, and we try to make "our version of …" when really we should forget the others and just do.
Forget the Others, and Just Do
It sounds so simple doesn’t it? Just do it. Just be you and forget about the rest. This sounds so easy in principle, but it is so much harder in reality. Harder especially when you can so easily justify having your periscope up checking out the surrounding waters when you "work online."
While I agree that being a blogger, online influencer, whatever you call yourself definitely does require you to be online, it doesn’t require that all the time.
There is value is bringing down the periscope, ignoring the others, and focusing on simply doing.
I’m not suggesting leaving your mobile at home or ignoring it completely. But there are easy ways to set some boundaries and to allow more time for the things that matter. Like the others, the things that matter are unique for each of us. It might be complete quiet and distraction-free time while you cook, or write, or take photos.
Maybe it’s certain activities or tasks that have you setting a boundary and going down-periscope. Or, maybe you’d prefer to set aside times in your calendar where the periscope is down, like from after dinner onwards or being essentially offline on weekends. Whatever boundaries work for you, I encourage you to seek and maintain them.
Food for Thought
Pretend it’s the good old days and you’ve travelled to a photo studio, rather than setting up in your kitchen. Pretend there is only a land line there and only one person has that number if they ever needed to reach you. Pretend the time spent in the studio is exclusively that, time spent in the studio working on beautiful photos. Just imagine what you’ll create. So what if there isn’t an IG story to show for it. The results will speak for themselves.
- If you’re looking for some technological assistance going down periscope, there are two pretty neat apps: Moment and BreakFree.
If you’ve had success doing down-periscope, let me know! I’d love to hear your strategy and what you feel you’ve gained from it. Just leave a note in the comments, below.
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Heather Travis is a PR professional and lover of all things creative. She has extensive experience developing and implementing integrated public relations and marketing programs for agricultural brands, producers and processors, as well as high end sporting goods. She’s a DIY junkie with a mean power tool addiction, and can often be found painting, refinishing, and scouring both junk yards and antique markets for her next fix … err, piece of content for her blog heatherinheels.com. Find Heather on Twitter @heathertravis and Instagram @heathertravis.