Thursday, April 23, 2009

Controlling the Time Social Media Takes

I have largely been on holidays and notice that my productivity is lower than I would like. So I went back to tracking my time using my time tracker time log.

I know advancing my understanding of social media (Twitter, Linkedin mostly but also would apply to Facebook, Blogging etc.) was on my list of things to do but I found it was taking too much time. So I came up with this post on:

8 Ways to Control Social Media.

There is nothing wrong with spending time on Twitter or Facebook or Linkedin etc. if that is how you choose to spend your time. I feel these tools have tremendous value but is not controlled can absorb more time that I choose. I think many of the same rules could be used by some people for TV.

My 9 ways to Control the Time I Spend Include:

1 - Decide what you want to achieve and get out of social media. Decide how much time you want to devote to social media. And decide what you want to accomplish with it. Like any challenge, defining the goal is key. It is like my Time Leadership concept - Leadership (goals, vision, direction, effectiveness) come before Management (action, efficiency)

2 - Track the time you spend. It may surprise you. And if it is not in line with your goals, this alone will likely spur you to take action.

3 - Use tools to make things go faster and to help focus on what your goals are. I love Tweetdeck. I use it as a research tool to keep tabs on the topics I want to follow. And I often add a column just like I would do a google search to research a topic. Another tool is Hootsuite which allows me to post multiple twits but have the send at a later time.

4 - Think quality. Reading bad material is like watching a poor TV show. If it is not adding value to your life, just don't do it. The same goes when posting. I use a variation of what my mom used to say "If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all". My variation "If you cannot add value - don't say anything at all". Think adding value.

5 - Have good files for things you want to post on. I simply use an email folder to file things I might use in the future. And I have a physical file as well since some things are not electronic. As with all Time Management, organization systems help.

6 - Have some ready to go. I have used this concept for years in blogging. I have 50 entries that I can edit a bit and post in a matter of minutes.

7 - Write efficiently. I wrote an article called "How to Write and Article in 20 Minutes" on the topic. I think the Twitter 140 character maximum might help us all be more efficient communicators.

8 - Set specific times to look at it. I now do not leave Tweetdeck open, I turn it on for 15 minutes in the morning and 15 minutes at night or 10 minutes 3 times per day. I can easily browse most material by doing this.

9 - Consider a Social Media fast for a few days. You will not miss much. And you will likely return to it with a greater appreciation on what you want to get from it.

In the end, think value (to you and others) and think quality, not quantity.

1 Comments:

At 3:09 PM, Anonymous Mr. I said...

I always make a To-Do list and follow it strictly. This allows me a lot in controlling the time spent on social media!

 

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