Social Media and Time Management: What You Can Do Right Now

Your life is filled with many things:  people you love, work, the occasional good night’s sleep, and of course surfing the internet and checking out various social media websites.  If you find yourself spending a little more time on places like Facebook or Twitter than you’d like, but are not quite sure how to bring things under control, there are things that you can do.  Trust me, if you follow these simple hints you’ll be surprised how quickly the hold of social media has on your life will lessen greatly.

Tip # 1:  Remember Why You Are There

So you’re looking at a social media site such as MySpace or LinkedIn.  Do you remember why you are there?  Chances are you came there for a specific purpose – either to check up on a friend, post a status update, or simply to take a look around.   Where people run into problems is when they start to wander around the social media sites without a purpose.  If you find yourself wondering what exactly you are doing on a particular site and can’t think of any valid reason to be there within the first ten seconds, go ahead and close down the webpage.

Tip # 2:   Prioritize

Time management in the social media world operates under the same basic principles as the real world. One of the best ways to make sure you don’t waste too much time on different websites is to make yourself a priority list of things that must get accomplished that day, and set up an award system.  For example, let’s say that you want to get at least ten bids for new businesses out by the end of the day.  So, set up a system where if you get five of those bids out by lunch time, you can spend 15 minutes during lunch checking the status updates of your friends.  Not only will you get some work done, but it will also give you an added incentive to get things accomplished.

Tip # 3:  Focus on What You Want

Unless it’s your job to discover the newest and greatest blog, there is absolutely no reason why you need to follow everything under the sun.  While it would be wonderful to read up on every subject that you have a passing interest in, it can lead to information and content overload.  This in turn can mean that in order to get what you want from social media, you’ll spend a good amount of time wading through the muck to find that piece of good information.  Instead, focus on the blog posts, articles, and status updates that have a history of piquing your interest.  Also, consider looking into things recommended by your fellow readers and social media contacts.  After all, you do share similar interests, so they may be able to provide some fine examples of material that would be of interest to you.

Tip # 4: Establish a Routine

Believe it or not, one of the easiest ways to allow time to be wasted with social media happens when you don’t have a routine.  If there are things that you need or desire to get accomplished on a regular basis, setting a routine or schedule can go a long way to doing just that.  For example, setting aside time each day to respond to emails, write a blog, or even checking up on your social media contacts can go a long way to making sure what is essential is being accomplished.  By allowing yourself a set amount of time, you can schedule other events, or even adapt the rest of your day for the unexpected, as is often the case with life and business in general.

Tip # 5:  Remember there is Life outside the Internet

Believe it or not, sometimes you just need to walk away from the computer and give it a rest.  There is a whole world out there, one that isn’t plugged in or electronically controlled, and one that should be visited from time to time.  Doing so will help you understand the importance of the online community and its role within your life.  So the next times you start feeling overwhelmed, or noticing that the computer screen is appearing in your dreams, consider taking an afternoon to go outside for a nice walk.