Is Someone Stealing Your Time ?


The answer to that question is YES and most probably the person is YOU!

For small business owners like me Internet is really a double edge sword. I have access to people from all over the world and get my business ideas and clients mostly online. I am really enjoying learning about what makes my clients wake up at night, their issues and hot topics in their industries. I spend a fair amount of time managing my emails, paying bills online, read many magazines and articles and participate actively in online group discussions, writing articles and testing new marketing tools.

If you use your time instead of paying someone to help you create your social media content for example, it is easy to fell into the trap of wasting too much time online on non-important activities and get distracted. You need to be conscious about  how you spend your resources and time is your most precious asset. It might be difficult to calculate a ROI on your time spent on each online platform but you need to have a social media strategy (WHO to target, WHAT to say , HOW to communicate and HOW to measure the impact of your efforts.) you also need a good discipline and effective time management tools.

The frontier between professional and private usages of the internet is becoming more and more fuzzy with the development of social media and mobile technologies,  As a consequence it is becoming harder and harder to stay focused on the bottom line and multitasking is decreasing productivity, tremendously.

People compensate partly by working longer hours but this is not sustainable in the long run especially if you become sleep deprived. Employees from small or large organizations are increasingly facing similar issues in time management.

How Do You Manage Your Time Online To Be More Effective ?

Here the seven habits I have already implemented:

1-I do not switch my computer on in the morning before I clean my desk and make my “to do list” for the day on a piece of paper.

2- Doing first things first: I focus on what is important and urgent first: pay the bills on time, shop, cook, clean before I make any contact online unless it is part of my to do list

3-I allocate time to spend on each social network and best timing to reach my favorite friends and target audience,

4-I use a timer to control my time online: Better spend 15 minutes 4 times per day (every 2 hours or so) than one hour at once except when I am blogging or working with clients.

5-Make sure  I spend 80% of my time planning, reading and sharing content that  brings value to my specific audience.

6-Allow me to spend 20% of my time online for fun: chat with friends, share funny videos or quotes, put serendipity at work.

7-Use tools to save time without losing interactivity as nobody likes talking to robots, so I follow people manually but use Buffer.com for example to send content while I am sleeping since my audience is living worldwide.

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19 thoughts on “Is Someone Stealing Your Time ?

  1. Mark Miller January 2, 2012 at 4:52 pm Reply

    Great ideas to help with focus. Well done.

  2. Mallie Dein January 3, 2012 at 1:17 pm Reply

    It’s easy to fall into a trap even when social media is my business, so it’s acceptable for me to say I spend the bulk of my work day on Facebook, Twitter, Google +, etc. But focus, a content calendar (or several…I keep one for each type of content) and a to-do list are key, just as you stated. A nice written list, with a contrasting cross out line color or highlighter to be used when a task is completed is a nice break for the computer and a great way to feel a sense of accomplishment.

  3. Joel Carter January 3, 2012 at 1:39 pm Reply

    An excellent article

  4. ResumeSmith January 3, 2012 at 2:16 pm Reply

    Great points and suggestions to stay on track. I like the idea of keeping the computer off until after breakfast and daily to-do list is done. Since I work from home, I will also do 1 hour of “house” work before starting my “business” work for the day.

    • Anne Egros, Global Executive Coach January 3, 2012 at 2:49 pm Reply

      Hi Kathleen, I have exactly same issues, I think working from home and having discipline is really hard, so tempting to chat with friends all day🙂. We can help help each other stay on track🙂

  5. Bill Lowell January 3, 2012 at 3:46 pm Reply

    Hi Anne, great suggestions. When I am tempted to start a lengthy conversation with one person either via instant message or what have you, I think to myself, “Who else would benefit from this conversation?” If there are other people that I will probably end up sharing the conversation with I try to put it in an email or even as a blog post so I can get the message across to a bunch of people rather than one at a time. Of course some conversations can only be on a one-to-one basis and you would never want to compromise other people’s information. Thanks for the post,
    Bill

  6. Dawn January 5, 2012 at 1:17 pm Reply

    I actually printed this and shared it on Facebook because I liked it so much. Thank you so much for such quality content.

  7. Coach Grace January 6, 2012 at 12:25 am Reply

    These are great tips. I use e.ggtimer.com to keep me from getting sucked into the social media sites. It also helps as I focus on projects.

  8. Kittie Walker January 6, 2012 at 2:06 am Reply

    Hi Anne

    Great post, I’m pretty much the same as you although my to-do list happens the night before.

    I am not sure what I would do without my trusty egg timer on my desk! I’ve tried all sorts of digital online and offline ones but the manual one seems to work best for me.

    I like applications like HooteSuite/MarketMeSuite/Seesmic because they allow me to see most of my feeds in one place. It can be a good time saver as long as you only spend the amount of time you have allocated to it, on it!

  9. Keri Jaehnig (@connectyou) January 8, 2012 at 3:03 pm Reply

    Anne,

    Thanks for making me think about this. I’m certainly my worst enemy here. Always tweaking the process…

    ~Keri

  10. Ellene Breedlove Davis January 9, 2012 at 3:59 pm Reply

    Thanks Anne for an informative and timely post! As Keri states I am my worst enemy when it comes to staying on track with my time.

    You have some good ways that I haven’t tried yet, I’ll give them my best.

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