How to (not) waste time on social media

One of the most common concerns people have when approaching social media is time. Most of the people we speak with are in their 30s and 40s, in a relationship, often with kids, and in very busy jobs in beijing. (And we have one very busy 72-year-old!) How do you embrace social media without it becoming a huge time suck? Here are some things we’ve found helpful.

  • Do one thing at a time. Multitasking is a myth. You feel like you’re multitasking, you’re really just shredding your attention between several tasks. Whatever you’re doing, do that.
  • Schedule interruptions. Social media – as well as that most perniciously interruptive technology, the telephone – can interrupt. Show it who’s boss. Schedule your interruptions. Have a phone-free hour in your day, and answer your messages all at once. Manually check your email three times a day (and no more). Have a half hour (or even just 10 minutes) of focused Facebook and Twitter time, where you can have fun and not be worried that you shouldn’t be there.
  • Chunk similar activities together. You need to be in a different headspace for meetings and phone calls than you do for thinking and writing. Group those activities together. I took a leaf out of Ben Young‘s book and started shifting all meetings to Friday (of course there are exceptions, but generally it’s working really well!). It also helps to know if you’re a maker or a manager, and plan accordingly.
  • Switch off. If you follow me on Twitter, you’ll notice I don’t tweet much on the weekend. That time is for unplugging and spending either “me” time, or time with family. It helps me to come back to my social networks refreshed. And I’ve never had anyone complain that they couldn’t reach me on the weekend.
  • Develop rituals and habits. According to the Jolt Challenge, we are at our healthiest when we sleep and wake up at the same time every day (weekends included). Psychologically, it makes sense to have routines. It’s one less thing for our brains to think of. It used to be a hassle for me to check on my social media stats, until I made it something I did every week at a certain time.

If you’re interested in this topic, I recommend you check out:

How do you make social media (and technology in general) work for you? Or are you still struggling, and if so, with what? Would love to hear your comments below. (Thanks to Mike for the photo!)

One of the most common concerns people have when approaching social media is time. Most of the people we speak with are in their 30s and 40s, in a relationship, often with kids, and in very busy jobs. (And we have one very busy 72-year-old!) How do you embrace social media without it becoming a huge time suck? Here are some things we’ve found helpful.

  • Do one thing at a time. Multitasking is a myth. You feel like you’re multitasking, you’re really just shredding your attention between several tasks. Whatever you’re doing, do that.
  • Schedule interruptions. Social media – as well as that most perniciously interruptive technology, the telephone – can interrupt. Show it who’s boss. Schedule your interruptions. Have a phone-free hour in your day, and answer your messages all at once. Manually check your email three times a day (and no more). Have a half hour (or even just 10 minutes) of focused Facebook and Twitter time, where you can have fun and not be worried that you shouldn’t be there.
  • Chunk similar activities together. You need to be in a different headspace for meetings and phone calls than you do for thinking and writing. Group those activities together. I took a leaf out of Ben Young‘s book and started shifting all meetings to Friday (of course there are exceptions, but generally it’s working really well!). It also helps to know if you’re a maker or a manager, and plan accordingly.
  • Switch off. If you follow me on Twitter, you’ll notice I don’t tweet much on the weekend. That time is for unplugging and spending either “me” time, or time with family. It helps me to come back to my social networks refreshed. And I’ve never had anyone complain that they couldn’t reach me on the weekend.
  • Develop rituals and habits. According to the Jolt Challenge, we are at our healthiest when we sleep and wake up at the same time every day (weekends included). Psychologically, it makes sense to have routines. It’s one less thing for our brains to think of. It used to be a hassle for me to check on my social media stats, until I made it something I did every week at a certain time.

If you’re interested in this topic, I recommend you check out:

How do you make social media (and technology in general) work for you? Or are you still struggling, and if so, with what? Would love to hear your comments below. (Thanks to Mike for the photo!)

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