Putting Your Eggs In One Basket, Recipe For Burnout

When early adopting, pioneering folks like Leo Laporte (long time podcaster) complain online that a tool stops working and express disillusionment, it makes me want to scold them for putting all their eggs in one basket. He’s by no means the first person in the tech space to experience burn out. What the folks who voice it to the masses tend to all have in common: all eggs, one basket. At the time of their complaint, they’d put all their efforts into one medium, eschewing all others. For example, going all microblogging and social at the expense of a web site, blog or other media. That’s just not smart.

First, going all-in on one type of medium over another removes your most substantial presences from view, especially if you ditch some of the more expansive tools like a blog for fleeting social tools instead. Your blog and website is an absolute must. In a world where software companies and tools can crumble in moments due to buyouts, infrastructure failure, software bugs and more – you need a hub that you own. Period. All other things must feed the hub.

Second, putting all of your focus into social is not just limiting, it’s lazy. It’s not just lazy, it’s exhausting. We may be headed to a digital world with a web of social around us all, but you must think outside of the tech bubble and acknowledge that we aren’t there yet. You must also put energy into the care and feeding of your hub in such a way that it bridges the gaps between those in your social sphere and those who may want to be – folks have to be able to find you, and they have to be able to evaluate whether or not to include you in the things that they grant attention to. They can’t do that by fleeting social interactions out of context – they can only do that with a combination of social and substantial. You’ll also find that without taking the mental rest from social that creating other media and maintaining your hub gives you, you start to feel burn out, as if you are running in place all the time.

Third, maintenance costs of an all social stream are high. When you have a hub, you can make it clear to folks what places you give your attention to, and what places you simply broadcast to, if any. This allows you to interact fully on that handful of social places that you find value in, without having to engage on hundreds of streams (or as happened to Leo, without the rude surprise of realizing that you hadn’t engaged well enough or often enough to know when your social stream stopped working).

In the end, your take away should be 1) Have a hub that you own and take care of it 2) Choose a few social platforms to engage fully in so you can keep up with them and know if they have issues 3) Make it clear when you are just broadcasting, it frees you to nurture those places where you engage 4) Be ready to check on and adjust your social presences often 5) Take mental breaks on various platforms and interaction types to help avoid burning out on one.