Post by Robbi Hess
In a perfect world we would wake up when we wanted to, meander to the breakfast table, enjoy a leisurely breakfast and then make our way to our computers and work on our blog posts. Also, in this perfect world our blog posts would magically appear on our social media sites (well, that does already happen if your site is set up correctly) and your social media interactions would be a breeze. Sounds idyllic, doesn’t it?
In the real world, even if we work from home, we have clients to report to, work that needs to get done, houses that need to be cleaned, pets that need walking, feeding and loving. If we work outside of the house you can add in commute times and time away from your personal computer and you can see how it’s a struggle to get it all done! Whew! I am tired just writing this!
What’s a pet blogger to do? Because the 24 hours we are given every day are non-negotiable there are steps you can take to tame your social media efforts and put some “real person” time back into your life. When it comes to human interaction, no matter how busy we are, we all need that; without it how would we refill our creativity wells and continue to come up with blog ideas?
Here are my top time saving, getting your life back, social media tips:
- This may sound counter intuitive, but take time to power down. Yes, turn off the computer, leave the smart phone away from the dinner table and reconnect with the people around you. Simply stepping away from your social media and blogging tasks will help you to recharge and you will likely return rejuvenated and ready to tackle anything!
- Use social media scheduling technology. Schedulers such as HootSuite were invented for time-crunched people like us. If you can find a chunk of time in your day use it to schedule your social media status updates. Imagine how freeing it will be to plan for the next three or five days worth of tweets or Facebook or LinkedIn posts and then you need only pop in to comment or add trending topic information. You can keep your social media presence alive and thriving without needing to be staring at the computer screen the entire time! Make use of your blog platform’s calendar widget as well. Carve out time to blog three or four posts then schedule them to go live throughout the week.
- Use your social media time wisely. Believe me, I understand how easy it is to go to Pinterest with the plan to put up a few pins on my latest blog posts and then… three hours later I am still there and am now even more behind than I previously was, but I have a bevy of recipes printed that I will likely never have time to cook! I love using a timer. I will schedule 15 minutes at various points throughout the day to pop onto one social media site or another (if you try to visit them all in your allotted 15 minutes, you won’t likely see much progress) and I will interact. During my time slot I will comment on updates, share updates, like or follow a few new people, get involved in ongoing conversations, and offer insight or advice. Once the timer goes off, I have to exercise the willpower to walk away. The next time my 15 minutes are available, I pop onto a different social media site and start all over again. It is amazing how much you can get done in those 15 minutes… if you’re focused. Save the mindless searching for those times you truly aren’t time crunched and can surf to your heart’s content.
- Take a breath and cut yourself a break. While there are days I dash around the house in my SuperWoman cape, those days are few and far between. You simply can’t do it all or be everything to everyone. You need to choose your battles and you need to determine where to focus your efforts and why. Along those lines, if you have a pet blogging business plan in place for where you want to take your blogging efforts, you will be better able to know what needs to be done to make it all happen.
- Take control of your time and reconnect with friends and family. Attend a networking event. Take time to pursue a hobby. I was in a networking event recently and the speaker said something along the lines of, “Don’t tell me you can’t get to your own work. If you have downtime for reading, walking or watching television you have time to work on your own projects.” Great in theory, but if we don’t take time to read for pleasure or to learn what’s going on in our industry or take care of ourselves physically or simply turn our minds off, every aspect of our lives will suffer.
What can you do to tame your social media monster, gain control of your time and your life and still remain effective?