"If you don't know where you are going, you'll end up someplace else." - Yogi Berra
Time management has always been a hot topic. It's so easy to get lost down the rabbit hole and realize two hours later you did not get anything accomplished.
If you work in social media, then you get what I'm talking about. There are distractions thrown at us daily via new blog posts to read, Facebook updates from friends, new pins on Pinterest and so on. Staying on task is something that has come down to a fine art. Either you're good at managing your time and get things done or you're not and stay stressed all the time.
I'd like to think I'm good at managing my time overall. There are those days that I just get off track. What's important is to get back on that track the next day.
Here are 4 ways that I've found to help manage my time on social media:
The more you can automate content, the better. Hootsuite, Sprout Social and Buffer are three popular platforms. All of these allow you to schedule posts for Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. A good personal Google+ scheduling tool is the Do Share extension for the Google Chrome browser.
What I suggest is take about 1 hour, once a week, to schedule your content for the next week. You can then spend the rest of your time responding and interacting. Keep in mind, and I want to stress this, you cannot automate engagement. It's fine to have some standard content and questions scheduled, but never automate your responses. Automating the standard content allows you time to engage in real-time.
"The most efficient way to produce anything is to bring together under one management as many as possible of the activities needed to turn out the product." - Peter Drucker
If you have a goal to blog 1-2 times per week, dedicate time each week to spend writing and scheduling those posts. This will save you from the "oh crud" moment you have when you realize you are suppose to have a post up in 12 hours! WordPress sites have scheduling functions within them to schedule a post for the future. For example, I am writing this post on Sunday afternoon and it will be published Tuesday morning.
The plan ahead suggestion applies to more than just blogging - plan ahead as much as you can for everything. This will keep your organized and in a routine.
"Planning is bringing the future into the present so that you can do something about it now." - Alan Lakein
DO NOT DO IT ALL.
Yes, I did just say you do not have to do everything. Many businesses think they need to have a presence on every.single.platform when in reality, they don't. If you know your target market posts on Facebook more than any other, then concentrate on that one. There is no sense in wasting your time updating 5 or 6 social media platforms when your customers are only on Facebook or Twitter.
Concentrating on those platforms that your target market is on and forgetting about the rest will free up a lot of time. Trust me, it easy to lose time on these platforms - just stick with what works!
"You cannot run at full throttle when applying your mindset to all of the different things running through your head. Focusing is the key to manifesting your desires." - Stephen Richards
Decide how much time you want to spend on each platform and then set a kitchen timer or an alarm on your smartphone to buzz when your time is up. For example, if you want to set aside 30 minutes per day on Facebook, set the timer to start when you do and then it will let you know when your 30 minutes is up. At that time, close it out of your browser and move on to something else. I know of several who do this and swear by it. Placing a time limit can force you to concentrate on what you need to do and get it done.
"If you spend too much time thinking about a thing, you'll never get it done." - Bruce Lee
Effectively managing your time is the key to being productive. The more productive you are, the more and better results you'll get.
What time management tips do you swear by?