Do you wish you could clone yourself?
Throw in keeping up with Social Media and all it’s constant changes. Finding, curating, creating and pushing out content daily for yourself and or company can leave you reeling. Yet it doesn’t have to be that way.
The world in which we live produces information overflow. According to a recent study by IBM, we process more information in one year than our forefathers did in their lifetime. Yet, some blaze through this information, and still accomplish more in one day than most do in a week. Why is this? It’s not that they are smarter than you or others, but they’ve mastered the art of concentration, focus, and priorities.
Information overload, of course, dates back to Gutenberg. The invention of movable type led to a proliferation of printed matter that quickly exceeded what a single human mind could absorb in a lifetime.
Later technologies—from carbon paper to the photocopier—made replicating existing information even easier.
Digitizing content also removed barriers to another activity first made possible by the printing press: publishing new information. No longer restricted by centuries-old production and distribution costs, anyone can be a publisher today, via the internet.
With the information floodgates open, content rushes at us in countless formats:
- Text messages
- Facebook friend alerts
- Twitter tweets on our cell phones
- Voice mails on our iPhones or Android devices.
- Instant messages and direct-marketing sales pitches (no longer limited by the cost of postage).
- Not to mention the ultimate killer app: e-mail. (I, for one, have nearly expired during futile efforts to keep up with it.)
At some point each of us must realize that we cannot do it all. That’s your day of reckoning, and it will be a relief. Harder for those that like control, right? Learn to focus and delegate.
THE PROBLEM FOR COMPANIES
Productive time is lost as employees deal with information of limited value. In the case of e-mail, effective spam filters have reduced this problem. Still, a survey of 2,300 Intel employees revealed that people judge nearly one-third of the messages they receive to be unnecessary.
Given that those same employees spend about two hours a day processing e-mail (employees surveyed received an average of 350 messages a week, executives up to 300 a day), a serious amount of time is clearly being wasted. Now throw in the fact that managing a social media strategy for the company can add a few hours per day.
- Employees consider 1 in 3 e-mails unnecessary
- 60% of computer users check e-mail in the bathroom
- 2 hrs. minimum per day to be successful in social media marketing
- Knowledge workers average 20 hours a week managing e-mail
- Information overload costs the U.S. economy $900 billion a year
- 85% of computer users say they would take a laptop on vacation
- A typical knowledge worker turns to e-mail 50 to 100 times a day
As you can see it’s a big challenge, one we must face head on. A previous supervisor had this tent card on his desk, which I have adopted. It states: What’s the best use of my time right now?
Multitasking: employers love it, women are supposed to be naturals at it, and overall, it is seen to be a quality most of us would love to acquire.
Researchers Kelvin Lui and Alan Wong at the Chinese University of Hong Kong came to the conclusion that people who multitask or those who frequently use lots of different media at once, are better at integrating information.
This makes sense, but what about the quality of the work? Are certain things easier to do whilst multitasking? Surely, sometimes, good solid focus and concentration is what’s needed. If you’re doing multiple activities and tasks at once, you might be better in the long run at integrating information, but will the quality of the work you produce be as good as it could have been if you’d given each task your full focus?
Researcher Zhen Wang proves my point: after completing an extensive study with students, she came to the conclusion that people who multitask are not necessarily being more productive. In reality, the participants who had to do multiple things at once felt good about themselves, but the results of the tasks they had to complete were no where near as good as the non-multitaskers.
CONCENTRATION & FOCUS
Concentration is the act of focusing the mind upon a given desire until ways and means for its realization have been worked out and successfully put into operation.
Rather than multitasking, consider breaking down your time into chunks. After all if you like variety, sometimes it can be boring to do just one thing at a time. But, if you spend 20-40 minutes on each task/ activity/ item on your “to do” list, then you’re being productive, efficient, and you’ll probably make your day more interesting and varied.
On a final note, I would have to say that when I’m focusing intently on something with no distractions or task switching, the work I do is of a much better standard.
Two important laws enter into the act of concentrating.
1. Auto-suggestion – the tool in which we form the new mental goal.
Habit grows out of doing the same thing in the same way over and over again – out of repetition. Here are some rules to follow:
1. Put enthusiasm to work when forming a new habit.
2. Keep your attention focused on the new goals, and direction.
3. Keep repeating your good habits of concentration and focus.
4. Resist the temptation to go back to your old ways.
5. Be sure that your concentrated focus is tied to your goals and objectives, whether personal or professional.
Concentrate and focus on what your end result will be in your life and business. Do the activities and habits I perform daily move me closer to my goals and objectives? Or do they just make me feel good, like dancing on peanut butter. Going through a lot of motion, but not getting anywhere.
SOCIAL MEDIA QUADRANTS OF TIME
Social Media Marketing requires us to incorporate this into our daily business. It is no longer a luxury, but a necessity. With that comes the Urgent vs. the Important choice.
Urgency is time related, importance is value related, but most people respond to urgency rather than importance. While they can coincide, they are not the same and a key point with time management is to deal with important tasks before they become urgent, as it is easier to do the important tasks well when they are not urgent.
SOCIAL MEDIA TOOLS
When I got involved in Social Media Marketing several years back, I quickly realized that there were not enough hours in the day to keep up. Do you feel that way sometimes?
That’s when I became a student to find a solution to my time and information problem. I’ve discovered tools that have given me back 10+ hours per week. As technology continues to change and evolve, it will make us more productive.
One of the first things I did was to get content pushed to me. Back then there were only a few, one being Google Alert, which by the way is still popular today. Actually I was using Google Alert’s before Social Media. You put a word, subject, phrase, or company and it will go out on the web, gather that information and push it to your gmail account. WOW!
Fast forward to today, and we have a host of services that will gather content for you. One of the more popular ones to gather great content for social media is Feedly. You create what subjects and content you want to subscribe to (Free) and login in to find it all at your fingertips.
Discover, curate and publish great social media content to get visibility online through Scoop.it . Amazing amount of information people are sharing. Consider what you want to be using Scoop.it.
Successful Scoop.it curators. Which one are you?
To develop your personal brand among your professional networks.
To generate leads, increase brand awareness and improve SEO.
To unlock, organize and propagate intelligence across the enterprise.
One of my favorite scheduling tools is Hootsuite. How would you like a tool that sends out your content, when you want, all for free, up to five social media platforms?
Social Media Management
- Manage multiple social networks
- Schedule tweets and messages
- Track brand mentions
- Analyze social media traffic
- 10 million+ satisfied users
Buffer helps you manage multiple social media accounts at once. Quickly schedule content from anywhere on the web, collaborate with team members, and analyze rich statistics on how your posts perform.
Social Media and the management of time are here to stay. Acknowledge that the speed of information, the volume, and amount of change will be faster, more pervasive, and volumes more.
Yet, you are still in control! You still have 24 hours in the day like everyone on the planet. How you choose to prioritize that time will separate you from the masses. Will you offend some people? Absolutely! Will you have more peace of mind? Absolutely!
- Learn to be flexible.
- Learn to delegate.
- Master time or it will master you.
- Be clear about your goals and objectives.
- Be persistent.
- Be laser focused.
- Bring closer to the important tasks at hand.
Filling life with more hours is not the answer, being effective in the hours you have will give you the results you seek. Along the way take time to smell the roses.
Blair Evan Ball is a Social Media Coach and founder of Prepare1, a company that works with businesses, individuals and non-profits. He is a former executive with a Fortune 50 company, and his national division did $1Billion in sales annually.
Blair has written three e-books: Facebook for Business Made Easy, Facebook Pages for Business Made Easy, and WordPress Blog Setup Made Easy.
Blair also educates, trains entrepreneurs and business professionals how to amplify their brand, increase revenues, and raise more funds.