You are probably not like me. I am on Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, WordPress, and email, just to name a few, all day long. But in my case that’s my job! For most of you, however, trying to be on social media sites, email, and get all your work done is tough, right? For most people social media can truly be a serious time suck, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t control it! Below are some great ideas from Pam Sahota of OneForty on how to “stop wasting time, and have more time to breathe, work, and kick some butt in productivity.”
1. Set aside time limits: If you constantly check your Facebook page, Twitter Feed, personal email, and more — it might be time for you to put some “dietary restrictions” on your online habit. For example, check your social stuff on the way to work (if you use public transportation), or the first few minutes while you drink your coffee and settle in, during lunch time, and/or before/after work. If social media is part of your job, avoid checking your personal stuff constantly, and focus on the brand(s) you are working for.
2. Anti-Social: Is #1 too hard? No self-restraint? You keep bingeing on Facebook? Have no fear, “there’s an app for that!” Anti-Social is an app that allows you to shut off your social life online while you do some work. You will not be able to go on Facebook or Twitter (or whatever else you specify) for the time you have chosen to shut them down. One glitch in the matrix, it is only available for Mac users. So for all of you who reach for Facebook when you shouldn’t, this app may be just the ticket.
3. Turn your alerts off on your smartphone: Did you think you could sneak in a look on your Twitter feed on your phone and I wouldn’t notice? Tsk tsk! Instead of having your phone alert you every time you have a mention on Twitter or if someone posted on your Facebook wall, shut off these alerts while you’re at work. Too hard? Start easier. Put your phone on silent so you are less likely to notice when it buzzes or an alert comes through. It may be hard to go “cold turkey,” so start out light and figure out the right balance for your cravings.
4. Make Twitter lists & limit news feed: When you do go on Twitter or Facebook do you feel like you are spending so much time trying to catch up on all that has happened while you were away? Make Twitter lists so you can pay attention to what you want to hear about, and cut through the clutter faster. Seeing too many people on your Facebook news feed that you normally don’t pay attention to? Block them from showing up on your news feed, so you have the people and brands you actually care to hear from and see the latest and greatest is on their end.
5. Consolidate: Too many social media platforms to check? Do you subscribe to all the “new and shiny” ones that come out? Consolidate! Lucky for us, there are great tools like Hootsuite, Seesmic, and Tweetdeck that allow you to listen and comment in one place for your social media desires. Want to post your status? Do it all at once, from one place, update all your pages. Simple, easy, and efficient. Gotta love it.
6. Google Reader: Too many articles, blog posts, and news to keep up with? Use Google Reader to have it sitting and waiting for you in one place. Organize your RSS feeds so you can decide what you feel like keeping up with. Read it on the go, at home, or wherever. Why waste the time going to each website when it can come to you, all consolidated and easy to access.
Now that you know how to be more productive without sacrificing your social media and internet addictions – ready, set, work! And when having issues with your “diet” just remember to set goals. Are you on Facebook for fun or for business? Be respectful and mindful of your time. Do you feel better when you are productive and kick butt at work or waste your time checking your friends status updates? Be honest. Set Goals. And be more productive!