Wednesdays are simplicity days at SimpleProductivity blog.
I’ve written before about Facebook being a time sink (see my original article at Time Sinks, Or Why I Don’t Use Facebook). But more and more things are happening in the world that require us to be on social media. So how can one strike a balance with something that can suck up large amounts of time but may be necessary to use?
(Recently, my Girl Scout service unit started offering cookie training in two forms: in person, or online. The catch was that the online one is through Facebook. So I either had to set aside an evening to do cookie training at a session, or use Facebook.)
Here are my strategies for not letting social media take over my life:
Instead of having Facebook and Twitter up all the time, I choose when I will start them up. I use the Firefox extension Morning Coffee to bring up Facebook on Wednesdays and Saturdays, and Twitter on Mondays and Thursdays. If I don’t start the site up, I find that I spend less time checking it.
Facebook and Twitter both have built-in tools to filter what you are going to look at. I set up groups in Facebook to include the people I really want to follow, and I set up private lists in Twitter to do the same thing.
The filters allow me to see what I consider the most important first, and then as time allows, I can go through to the rest of the entries. It cuts down on wading through many entries to find a few.
Once I committed to using social media for the blog (http://www.facebook.com/SimpleProductivity and https://twitter.com/@LJEarnest I knew I would have to keep them up to date. I chose to use a tool called HootSuite, which allows me to schedule Tweets and Facebook posts from one interface. By paying a small monthly fee, I can also get analytics, and upload tweets and posts from a text file.
Use A Different Browser
If I find that I have to do a large amount of work in either Twitter or Facebook, I open up Chrome and go from there. The differences between Chrome and my usual browser, Firefox, are enough to be a constant and subtle reminder that I need to do what I need to do and get out.
By using a few strategies and tools I am able to manage my social media so that it doesn’t overtake my life. Do you have any strategies? Share below.
Photo by ivanpw