Checking social media non-stop around the clock has probably become more of an addiction than a habit, sucking up valuable time and energy that you could be using to advance your career. Here are a few tricks for being more productive with your social media usage in the new year.
Scrolling through news feeds, walls, and forums online is a guilty pleasure that far too many people indulge in far too often. Without knowing it, hours can be wasted lurking around (or, as we like to call it, stalking) on social media that could have been used to do something productive, like get work done or exercise. Instead, we scroll, we click, we view, we peer, we share, we … we … we lose. It’s a vicious cycle that, typically, ends up with “victims” having feelings of lower self-esteem, depression, restlessness, and incompetence, according to various studies.
So, why do we scroll, check, and view incessantly? Simple: Because WE. HAVE. TO. (That’s the addiction talking, by the way). The reality is, there’s a healthy amount of social media usage that can actually contribute to the advancement of your career, and we are here to show you how. Get your hypothetical workout gear on, because it’s time to start your social media diet and slim down on your productivity-sucking online habits.
1. Less is more – Social media has done a devastatingly good job at convincing the general population that the world needs and wants a minute-by-minute update on what you’re doing, not doing, eating, thinking, and feeling. However, that’s far from the truth – less is more. Social media is an easy way for potential/existing employers to keep tabs on candidates/employees, so posting the good, bad, and the ugly online for all to see might not end well.
2. Give it a rest – Keep personal (non-work-related) social media usage to a minimum during work hours, during family time, and before retiring for the night. Studies show that staring at your phone at night can, actually, cause several health and sleep issues, including insomnia and depression. Do yourself a favor and give social media a rest so that you can rest well at night.
3. Deep-clean – Chances are, you’ve accumulated a ton of online “friends” over the years who really don’t do anything for you, so it’s time to deep-clean your friend and follower lists to make room for more positive and applicable people (influencers) in your personal and professional life. Think quality over quantity in 2015.
4. Zip the lip – If you’re one of those people who think social media is a place to rant day in and day out, then we can assure you that you’re one of the “friends” being deleted from friend’s lists. Part of being a successful businessperson is learning how to manage your emotions efficiently and deal with them in a healthy, productive manner, which usually means not for all to see on your Facebook profile. In 2015, take a breath, whip out a journal, and jot down your rants privately. You’ll thank us later.
5. On/off switch – One way to limit the temptation to waste your life away on social media is to turn all notifications off and only check your profiles in your downtime (just be sure it’s not right before or while you’re in bed). It’s hard to resist the checking your phone when it’s chiming every time there’s activity on your social networks. Therefore, save yourself a few hours a day and turn your notifications off.
Keep in mind, the above information applies to only personal (non-work-related) usage of social media. We hope that these five tips will help you cut down a few hours of mindlessly surfing your social networks and get you on your way to a more productive and prosperous 2015.
Tell Us What You Think
What other tips do you have for going on a social media diet in 2015? Share your thoughts on Twitter and help others be more productive in the new year.
Leah Arnold-Smeets, owner of Emiko Consulting, is passionate about helping entrepreneurs capitalize on their strengths, improve on their weaknesses, and reach their full potential. Leah obtained her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration & Entrepreneurial Studies from the University of Southern California (USC).