Managing Your Time While Managing Your Social Media

Thanks to Katie Mercado, I had the opportunity to give a presentation on time management and social media at today’s 33rd Annual PRSA Maryland Chesapeake Conference.   I was actually a little surprised when Katie approached as I feel like there’s so much more that I could be doing, more that I could be reading, and more people that I could be meeting.  I often feel like I’m fighting a constant battle against FOMO and HOLI - there’s always another blog I should be reading or another event I should be attending.

However, as I pulled these slides together, I started to notice that I was a doing a little better job than I thought I was.  While I still feel like there’s always more that I could do, I have also learned to better focus my time on what’s important and what will help me accomplish my goals.  Sure, there’s a lot of interesting events, blogs, and tweets that I’m missing, but I’m also very aware of the opportunity cost of trying to do everything – the lost productivity, the increased sick days, the constant tired feeling, the loss of focus.

The slides below reflect some of what I’ve learned over the last few years as well as some of the tips and tricks that I show my colleagues and clients when they’re first getting started in social media.

Time Management Strategies for Social Media
The key takeaways that I wanted the attendees to walk away were:
  1. Not information overload but filter failure – There’s always been too much information for us to ever possibly consume. The only difference now is that the gatekeepers (book publishers, TV producers, etc.) who used to act as our quality filters are gone.  We have to now set up our own filters.
  2. Self-discipline is needed – All the technical tools in the world won’t help you if you don’t have the self-discipline to turn off Twitter every once in a while.
  3. Social media saves time too – Don’t just think of all the ways social media is going to take up too much, think of ways that social media can save you time too.
  4. Have a goal – Is it helping you accomplish what you want to accomplish?  If not, then why are you doing it?
  5. Spend some time up front and set up your filters – Spend a few hours up front to save TONS of hours later on.
  6. It’s not about the technology – Ultimately, your best filters aren’t technical – they’re human.  They’re the ones sharing the links, blogging about the topics, and speaking about the issues – find people you trust and respect and use them as your filter.
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About sradick

I'm Vice President, Associate Director of Public Relations at Cramer-Krasselt in Chicago. Find out more about me here (http://steveradick.com/about/).

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    How to manage information overload by @sradick, [link to post]

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  • http://twitter.com/sradick/statuses/16481926032 sradick (Steve Radick)

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    How to manage your time while managing your social media and avoiding information overload ([link to post]) #chessie10

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  • http://twitter.com/saraestescohen/statuses/16482122448 saraestescohen (Sara Estes Cohen)

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    @sradick ha. i need that advice (on managing time, social media).

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  • http://twitter.com/primedayton/statuses/16490313618 primedayton (PRIME)

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    RT @socialmediaclub: How to manage time while managing your social media & avoiding info overload. [link to post] How do YOU do it?

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  • Kelly

    I’m a consultant working with Palo Alto Networks; they have an excellent whitepaper on the subject of blocking social networking apps that you may have to worry about, “To Block or Not. Is that the question?” here: http://bit.ly/d2NZRp. It has lots of insightful and useful information about identifying and controlling Enterprise 2.0 apps (Facebook, Twitter, Skype, etc.) Let me know what you think.
    kelly@briefworld.com

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  • sue_anne

    I agree it's all about the filters. You have to figure out what is most important. I follow lots of people on my Twitter list (too many to be manageable, really), but I created a “must reads” list that I'm determined to keep under 10 people. That's my main Twitter filter. I also do a lot of skimming and marking things as favorites to come back to later.

    I am like you, I feel like I'm doing it wrong and allowing social media to takeover. But, I think almost all of us who are trying to make this new world work feel that way.

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    RT @sradick Managing Your Time While Managing Your Social Media [link to post]: RT @sradick Mana… http://bit.ly/aQpQNS #socialmedia

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  • Sradick

    Thanks Sue Anne – I think it's pretty common among us social media types to feel like there's so much more we could be doing, so many more opportunities that we're not taking advantage of. Probably has quite a bit to do with our entrepreneurial, Type A personalities :)!

  • vartabedian

    Really nice concept for a presentation. You might think about adopting David Armano's 'human signal' illustration for your next prez. The issue of filtering is growing as one of the most important issues of our time.

  • Andreajm517

    Steve – Great preso and blog post. I find myself really struggling with “FOMO” and “HOLI” more and more each and every week. It's so easy to find distractions, I need to reset my priorities! It was also great to meet you last week at the Social Media in Ed discussion panel!

  • Sradick

    Thanks – David's thoughts here (http://darmano.typepad.com/logic_emotion/2008/1…) are spot on. I've heard him discuss this before, but totally didn't think of it for this post. Glad you brought it up here as that “human filter” is an important point in this game of cat and mouse being played by people and the information they seek.

  • Sradick

    Thanks Andrea – nice meeting you the other day as well! I finally have a face to put to this name that Anna talks about so glowingly :)

  • Mary Rarick

    Filter, filter, filter. It's the only way to keep social media from becoming a huge time trap. Great tips!

  • kellymonroe

    Here's a link to a whitepaper created by Palo Alto Networks about managing twitter: http://bit.ly/9twcQMTwitter

  • http://twitter.com/Obeo/statuses/20995988189 Obeo (Obeo Inc.)

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    This is a great post on Social Media Time Management….I love how Social Media can actually save you time, too!! [link to post]

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  • http://twitter.com/Obeo/statuses/20997809295 Obeo (Obeo Inc.)

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    RT @Obeo: Social Media Time Management…. Social Media can actually save you time!! [link to post]

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    Managing Your Time While Managing Your Social Media – [link to post]

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  • Juhana Lampinen

    Great article Steve. I had similar thoughts about social media consuming just too much of my time. I actually even tried to put myself on internet diet. Yes, internet diet, only 5 checks per day in social networking service – not 20 or 50. My productivity just skyrocketed.

    Additionally I wrote a quick blog about time management and priorities. It is actually a system that I have successfully used for years already. It work for me. If you are interested have a look at my blog:

    rework365.com/first-things-first-time-management-for-dummies/

  • Anonymous

    I love the concept of a social media diet! For personal use especially, I think that’s a great plan. Similar to how people try to restrict themselves to 3 or 4 sentence emails only, I think it forces us to focus on what matters the most.

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