Get in and Get out

A New Year

Welcome to 2014 and a time to start all over again!

Right now, my Pinterest home feed is covered with healthy recipes to lose weight, ideas about how to increase the amount of time I move my body every day and the top how-to-be-more-productive tips from highly paid CEO’s.

So let me jump into the mix and add my advice about something I struggled with last year – Social Media Time Management. You’ll be amazed at how making these simple changes in your day can help you get more done.

When it comes to managing my social media marketing, my new favorite motto is

“Get in, get out and get on with your day.”

It’s easy to justify that you’re logging into Facebook every day because you need to update your company’s fan page. But if you’re still in there 2 hours later commenting on how cute your friend’s new baby is then you’re no longer being productive. You’ve now fallen down the rabbit hole.

Focus, People!

Are you one those people who wonders where your day went and why didn’t you get everything done on your list? I use to be that way. I’d log into Facebook to update the three different fan pages that I manage and the next thing I knew, it was time for lunch.

What happened to my morning and that big project I didn’t get to? I tell you what happened …. the bright, shiny and ‘oh look at this!’ and ‘let me read this!’ social media is what happened to me. I wasn’t focused and I just wandered around like a kid in a candy store.

After way too many nights of working late to finish my to-do list, I knew something had to change. I needed to get my focus back.

Take a look at these ideas I learned to manage my social media time online. Try adding at least of one of these ideas every week and think about how you can fit these suggestions into your day.

1.  Use a timer

I do my Facebook and Twitter updates for the whole week in one hour. To keep me on task and out of the rabbit hole, I use a timer and set it for 60 minutes.

(To learn more about how I can update my Facebook and Twitter account for the whole week in an hour, take the 10 Day Social Media Challenge. I’ll walk you through the social media skills I developed to get more done in my day.)

I like this online timer because I can see the time in my browser’s tab and I don’t need to keep clicking into the browser page to check my remaining time.

You can use this one or an app on your phone or the timer you use for cooking. Whatever you choose, just keep it near your desk.

Look at your to-do list and give each project a time limit. Set your timer, stay focused on your task and you’ll be surprised at how quickly you’ll move through each item on your list.

2. Schedule productive breaks

I love it when I get so productive that I lose track of time! There have been many days when I get so wrapped up in my work that I realize I’ve forgotten to take a break.

Then I discovered something called a productive break.

After 2 – 3 hours of uninterrupted and productive work, plan to take a break. I’m not talking about a social media break. I realize it’s a mindless activity and for some people, it’s your fun time of the day.

You see, the biggest problem with taking your break with social media is that it’s easy to watch your time disappear. That moment of ‘let me just log in to say Happy Birthday to my friend’ turns into an hour of reading posts, commenting on the latest conversation and watching videos.

And spending more time on social media actually adds to something called screen fatigue. You know that feeling when your eyes are tired and your head hurts from spending too much time staring at the screen? That’s what they call screen fatigue and it actually makes you more unproductive.

Think about different ways you can schedule in a productive break – take a 10 minute walk, get on the floor and do some stretches, sit at the kitchen table and eat a healthy snack or if you work from home, throw in a load of laundry. Just find a way to get up from your desk, put the mouse down and step away from the computer.

3. Write it down

If you’re working on something and get an idea about a post, a promotion or an image idea, write it down. Keep a notebook near your desk or use an app like Evernote. Write it down and get right back into your task.

Just don’t stop what you’re doing to work on that idea. Once you shift your attention to write that post on Facebook, there’s a good chance you’ll start reading your news feed, clicking on links or replying to comments.

Time management is not just about how you schedule your day. It’s about focusing. It’s about learning how to Get in, Get out and Get on with your day.

PS Does all this social media stuff still overwhelm you? The Strategy Builder workbook is the one resource you need when you’re ready to take on your social media marketing in 2014. You’ll get the tips, tools and more of my marketing secrets to walk you through the process to develop your social media strategy.