Social media is wonderful, but it can also be detrimental to your productivity. Ever logged on to post an important piece of content and then got distracted by cute cat pics and videos? (yep, me too).
Or you head to Facebook to check your engagement and end up getting caught up in a political discussion, which causes you to have feelings of anxiety and frustration.
Or you want to see how much your followers have grown and you find yourself zoning out and scrolling down your news feed for an hour. We’ve all done it.
As an entrepreneur, you need to use social media for your business, but how do you do it without getting distracted and overwhelmed? The key is to take control and focus.
Choose Your Platforms Well
First off, carefully choose which platforms you’ll use. You don’t have to use them all and you may find that some are more distracting than others. Choose sites where:
- Your audience hangs out
- You audience are actively engaged
- It’s a profitable use of your time
Cut out the sites that are more distracting than profitable. It’s much better to stick to one or two platforms and do them well, than it is to try and update them all. It’s about quality content, not quantity. Plus managing multiple accounts can be really overwhelming!
Establish boundaries between personal and professional use of social media. Create separate accounts for your business and keep off personal accounts during your working time.
For example, you might have a personal Facebook profile and a separate business page. By all means check your business page when you’re working, but avoid your personal account. You might choose LinkedIn for professional networking but Twitter and Instagram to communicate with friends.
Studies have shown that social media can have a negative impact on you mental health, so whichever platforms you decide upon, it’s also worth having boundaries for your personal use of social media. Schedule in 15 – 30 minute blocks before and after work where you can check in on your profiles.
Log In With an Objective in Mind
Each time you go on social media, do it with a specific objective in mind. For example, when you go on Facebook, you’re logging in to check today’s post’s engagement or research your followers. While you’re there, don’t do anything outside of that objective. If you see a video you want to watch, save it for later. The ‘Save’ feature is really useful and you can even categorise your saved content.
Establish certain times of day when you’re allowed to log in and set time limits. You might set up a 15-minute check in the morning, for example. Set a timer and close the window when the timer goes off.
Along with setting limits, establish priorities for social media. For example, you might have a 20-minute block of time designated for social media. During this time, your first priority is adding a fresh piece of content. Next, check your latest business page comments and messages. Third, set aside some time to research some specific information. Your lowest priority item is to scroll down your feed! This way, you allow yourself some time to read content, but you make sure you get the important work done first.
Use a Dashboard
Use a social media dashboard such as Dasheroo or Hootsuite. Having a dashboard allows you to organise and monitor activity across platforms. You can take in everything that’s going on at a glance, which saves you time.
Identify Distractions and Let Them Go
You can control social media. It just takes some conscious effort. Take a look at how you use these sites and see where you’re wasting time. Monitoring will show you what’s distracting you the worst, and you can then remove it.
Whilst you’re at it, consider which social media apps you really need on your phone? Delete unused apps and turn off notifications you don’t need to see in your phone settings.
By organising your social media time a little better, you’ll start to feel much calmer and less overwhelmed, so it’s well worth investing some time implementing the above tips.
Do you have any suggestions or stories to tell about avoiding social media distractions. Please comment below.