Most of us have been there…
You jump on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram for a minute, start to scroll and before you know it… 20 minutes have passed and you’ve accomplished basically nothing (other than perhaps seeing some great LOL CAT photos or visuals of what your friends had for lunch).
I’m not a social media hater. I love it. I think that social media is a fantastic resources to help people build and/or reinforce relationships (online and off). It’s also a great vehicle to help ideas get shared in a exponential way.
But like all things, with the good also comes the opportunity for bad.
Social media can sometimes act like a black hole sucking away our time and productivity, however that only happens if we let it.
Here are 4 ways to stop wasting time on social media:
1. Approach It Intentionally – If you don’t have a goal then you have no direction and without direction you end up just spinning your wheels. Same goes for social media. Take some time to think, I mean really think, about how you can utilize it more effectively. I’m not just talking about the business side either. What if you simply choose to be more positive in your posts to uplift others or use social to drop in and encourage friends throughout the day. Beyond just connecting, social enables us the ability to lead by example in many ways.
2. Set a Timer – Seriously. As you plot out your day, give yourself X minutes to engage on social media. Maybe 10 minutes in the morning, 10 minutes at night and on some days… 10 minutes in the afternoon. Notice though that I did not say “check” social media. I said “engage.” Social media does not work when it’s one sided. It’s social because it should be interactive, two way conversations, etc. It’s about relationships, not transactions.
3. Do The Most Important Things First – Social media is an easy escape when we are trying to avoid doing something else that we know we really should be doing. You know what I’m talking about don’t you? How many times have you known you need to do __ but that __ isn’t something you really want to do and you find yourself popping into social instead? Don’t do that and when you find yourself on the verge of doing it, stop and remember that you must do the most important things first. Social can wait till later. Don’t let it be a distraction (or excuse) to you getting important things done.
4. Remember That Not All Time Spent Is Wasted – Perspective makes a big difference doesn’t it? While it may be easy to discount those 20 minutes spent on social as wasted time, what if it’s not? I mean, what if you are using that time to find out what other people are up to so that you can be more invested in them and engage by commenting or responding back? Those interactions build relationships and relationship building has significant value over time.
What about you? What are some ways you approach social media to make it not a waste of time? Comment below or shoot me a Tweet @danieldecker