It’s hard for me to believe but it’s one year ago this week that I started this blog!
It’s been a bit of a hotch-potch, just as I warned in the very first post, a kind of ‘Christmas pudding’ of ingredients! A few practical tips on selling greeting cards and a few on art-related subjects, stirred together with updates about how my card-selling business is progressing and hopefully spiced up with the occasional digression into gardening and birdwatching, all mixed together with a fair amount of musing and speculating, opining and ranting and guest posts.
I wonder whether this has been confusing for my followers and so this is your chance to tell me if you’d prefer me to change the mix in some way in future.
For this second year, I’ve decided that, much as I enjoy writing, I'll try to stick to one new blog post a week. This is partly to give myself more time for other things - like painting! - but also because I realise from my own experience, how time-consuming it can be keeping up with other people’s blogs! Of course, decisions like this need to allow for some flexibility, like when I slipped in an extra post with the second photo of Sugarloaf’s ‘alpenglow’!
I’m sure most of you would agree that time always seems to be at a premium and that the internet can gobble up large chunks of our time! I’ve decided to limit the time I spend on Twitter this year too! I’ve come across some really interesting people through Twitter and ‘happened upon’ a great many excellent blogs and articles that I would never have otherwise come across. So I’ve come to have a kind of love/hate relationship with it, the ‘hate’ bit being when I realise how easy it is to get distracted by it!
Is it time that we lack or is it attention?
One of the articles I read was about how most of us tend to feel that the internet takes up too much of our time but that’s it’s not just time that it consumes but also our attention. If we’re not careful we can find ourselves bombarded with more stimulating thoughts and ideas than we can comfortably cope with, especially if we are trying to earn a living at the same time! 'Instant' communication seems to have had a 'speeding up' effect on our lives that doesn't encourage patience. I'm horrified to admit that if I go to a website that is slow to open, either because it has a flashy introductory page or because it has a lot of large images that are slow to download, I often don't have the patience to wait but move on to something else! I wonder how my attention span these days compares to that of a flea!
Somewhere else I read a suggestion for getting our household chores done by using those little bits of time while waiting for the something, eg waiting for the kettle to boil, to do a minor task, such as cleaning the sink. It sounds very sensible but it probably wouldn’t work very well for me because it wouldn’t leave me those precious little intervals that I value as ‘thinking time’!
Many years ago I designed an ‘Office Change of Address’ card for friends and they insisted on paying me by the hour. When it came to working out how long it had taken me, it was they who brought up the subject of ‘thinking time’ which I would never have counted as ‘work’. In fact a lot of time management advice seems to ignore our need for time to reflect on and process our experiences. If we don’t allow time for this it can result in a kind of mental indigestion!
But ‘thinking time’ is not something that can be easily scheduled - it wouldn’t work to time-table it in for, say, 10 – 10.30 am on Mondays! We do need, though, to take account of it when planning our time by not expecting to fill every single minute of every day with definable tasks! But this is where the internet can wreck our best intentions. No matter how flexible our schedule, it’s all too easy for the internet to not only eat into our time but also our attention, leaving our heads buzzing with too much information or too many ideas!
But of course, some enterprising, insightful person has come up with a solution! A rather drastic one and it costs money so you’d have to be desperate to take it up, I think!
What do you think?