Say NO to Social Media . . . Sometimes

by Meg Guiseppi on May 16, 2011

Social Media BuzzThe first few months of this year, I had a particularly heavy writing schedule – finishing up my ebook and an unusually large number of client projects in the pipeline at once, along with my regular blog writing routine, and everything else that goes with running a thriving business.

My typical start-of-the-day routine – checking email and catching up with Twitter and other social media – was eating into my most productive morning writing hours.

I was finding that, by the time I took care of social media and moved my thoughts to writing projects, I didn’t have enough clear-headed brain power to do the work well.

Even if I told myself, “I’ll just take a quick look and, if there are no fires to put out, I’ll leave responding until later”, it didn’t help. I always got sucked in . . . and distracted . . . concentration gone.

Pretty quickly I began falling behind. Something had to give. The answer may seem obvious, but I guess I was so used to my routine, it took a few days to shake myself out of it.

Here’s what I did, and plan to continue doing:

No matter what – whether I was expecting a critical email or not – for the first 2-3 hours (more if possible) of every day that I had a writing project in front of me, I wouldn’t check email or social media . . . at all. Once I burned myself out with writing, or once I’d reached that day’s writing goal, I hungrily jumped into email, Twitter and the rest.

This time management practice has worked so well for me – boosting productivity and giving me that deeply satisfying feeling of accomplishment early in the work day. I actually get more done in a day, in fewer hours. It’s really all about prioritizing tasks and fitting them into my day when I’ll best be able to complete them.

Related posts:

How Much Social Media Is Enough?

Dealing with Social Networking Burnout

How to Lose Friends and Alienate People with Social Media

Social Media: Never on Sunday?

photo by Widjaya Ivan

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Meg Guiseppi May 19, 2011 at 11:30 am

Hannah, we’ve been on the same wave length before. Wasn’t it only a few weeks ago that we posted similar blogs — about LinkedIn invitations, I think?

I sometimes find it hard not to go directly to my email inbox, when I first get to work, but I certainly get more accomplished if I resist the temptation, and focus in on other, more productive tasks first.

Thanks for commenting!
Meg

2 Career Sherpa May 19, 2011 at 11:23 am

Meg,
We must have been on the same thought wave yesterday.
I also find it tempting yet distracting to log into email and social networking outlets. Your advice about waiting a couple of hours until the pressing work is done works well for me too.
It is hard to stay focused or on track when you work alone- there are most definitely distractions.
Get ‘er done! Good motto.
Thanks for sharing your suggestions!

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