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Ask the Entrepreneurs: 13 Ways to Make Sense of Your Social Media Feeds Each Day

Ask the Entrepreneurs: 13 Ways to Make Sense of Your Social Media Feeds Each Day


    Ask The Entrepreneurs
    is a regular series where members of those involved in the Young Entrepreneur Council are asked a single question that aims to help Lifehack readers level up their own lives, whether in a area of management, communication, business or life in general.

    Here’s the question posed in this edition of Ask The Entrepreneurs:

    How do you, as a busy entrepreneur, find the time each day to keep up with social media?

    1. Newsflash: I’m Engaged!

    Laura Roeder

      Writing 140-character tweets or replying to a Facebook comment takes minutes — entrepreneurs waste hours on social media when they’re reading, not engaging. Twitter and Facebook were designed to suck you in to click on photo albums, read blog posts, and watch videos, but none of these activities grow your business! Make sure you’re spending your time engaging with, not consuming, social media.

      Laura Roeder, LKR

      2. Take It Personally

        When I’m pressed for time I look for more tasks that I can give to my virtual team that free up space to connect on social media. It’s not about “keeping up” with every post and link but really listening to, sharing with the community to build relationships. That’s not something that can be outsourced, so I’ll hand off other tasks to find the time.

        Kelly AzevedoShe’s Got Systems

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        3. Timebox Your Tweets

        Lea Woodward

          Interacting on social media in batches of time helps timebox it and keeps you focused. During that time, using web tools enables you to schedule useful resources to share, and also allows you to space out your interactions and responses so you’re not interacting in one overwhelming stream of activity during that period.

          Lea Woodward, Startup Training School

          4. Check Your Pulse Daily

            Set up time daily to share original content and other articles through news aggregates such as Pulse. Review what your followers are saying so you can connect and look for ways to be of service more effectively.

            Michael BrunyAmbassador Bruny.Com


            5. No Smartphone Necessary

              I connect Twitter to my cell phone — I get text notifications when someone mentions me, and sending a Tweet as a text message is much easier then doing it from the computer or even a phone app. Sending the Tweet via text message is as simple as sending a text to anyone else. It flows easier into my day this way, since I don’t get distracted by my feed.

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              Raoul Davis, Ascendant Group

              6. Stick to Your Discipline

                It can be easy to get swept up in social media and, as a result, work less efficiently. Instead of always being on, put aside a couple hours each day to answer emails, tweet things out, respond to @replies, etc. The rest of the time? Close those tabs! You don’t want the temptation. Believe me.

                Steph AuteriWord Nerd Pro


                7. It’s Just Another Part of Communication

                  I need to send out emails, return phone calls and even stick a letter in the mail today. I keep track of all of those things on one list and I keep social media tasks on the same list. Twitter and all the rest are just additional communication tools, and I treat them as such.

                  Thursday Bram, Hyper Modern Consulting


                  8. Set a Social Media Schedule

                    When using social networks, it’s important to set aside time to keep active and be consistent in your posting. Make sure you can use them live in real-time too. Occasionally, some accounts schedule their updates to go out later through TweetDeck on a specific date or time.

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                    Lane Sutton, Social Media from a Teen


                    9. Can’t Beat Buffer

                      Personal and business branding require maintaining active social media profiles, but it is tough to find the time for posting new content as a busy entrepreneur in this 24/7 news cycle. I am indebted to Buffer App; it’s the tool that helps me maintain an active Twitter presence without the headache of babysitting my feed. Use the bookmarklet to add updates to a queue, and let Buffer do the rest!

                      Doreen Bloch, Poshly Inc.

                      10. Let’s Hear It for HootSuite!

                        I use HootSuite to manage all of my networks easily and schedule updates. In just a few clicks, I can send messages across all of my networks, which saves me tons of time.

                        Ben Lang, EpicLaunch



                        11. Integrate, Don’t Interrupt

                          I see social media not as an interruption or something to be scheduled throughout my day, but rather as part of my everyday activities. My setup in the TalentEgg office has a full computer screen devoted to HootSuite so that I can casually stay up-to-date with what’s happening throughout the company’s social media channels.

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                          Lauren Friese, TalentEgg Inc.

                          12. Consistency Is Key

                          Nick Friedman

                            It’s best to delegate that job if possible, so you can be consistent with your postings. If delegation isn’t an option, set aside 10-15 minutes each day (broken up into two or three separate, 5-minute periods) where you focus on posting, tweeting, and responding to social media.

                            Nick Friedman, College Hunks Hauling Junk


                            13. Download Those Mobile Apps

                            John Hall

                              Make it as easy as you possibly can. This means make sure that you have all of the mobile apps. Have these apps be the first ones you see when you touch your phone. Most people look at their phone quite frequently when they have down time. The more you are reminded to post, the more time you will make.

                              John Hall, Digital Talent Agents

                              How do you make sense of your social media feeds each day? Let us know in the comments below!

                              (Photo credit: Social Media Button on a Keyboard via Shutterstock)

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                                1 When Should You Trust Your Gut and How? 2 What Is Life About? 9 Ways to Find Your Meaning in Life 3 7 Things To Remember When You Feel Broken Inside 4 Focus On Yourself, Because Most Of The Time No One Really Cares 5 10 Principles for Success to Live Your Dream Life

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                                Last Updated on August 12, 2020

                                When Should You Trust Your Gut and How?

                                When Should You Trust Your Gut and How?

                                Learning how to trust your gut, otherwise known as your intuition, can keep you safe. Your gut can guide you and help you build your confidence and resilience. My own gut instinct has saved me on more than one occasion. It has also guided me into making sound career choices and other exciting, big decisions. I’m also aware of the times when I’ve gone against my instincts and really regretted it later, wondering why I didn’t tune in to that valuable internal voice that we all have within us.

                                In this article, we’re going to explore why and how you should listen to your gut, as well as some concrete tips on how to make sure you’re making the most out of your gut instincts.

                                How to Listen to Your Gut

                                The key when making any big decision is to always take a minute to listen well to yourself and your inner compass. If you hear your actual voice saying yes while inside you’re silently screaming no, my advice is to ask for some time to think, or simply take a breath and pause before the yes or no escapes your mouth.

                                Use that moment to breathe, check in with yourself, and give the answer that feels congruent with who you are and what you want, not the one that always involves following the herd. Trusting your gut means having the courage to not simply go with the majority. It can be about holding your own. Here’s how to hone that skill for yourself and reap the rewards.

                                1. Tune Into Your Body

                                Your body gives you clues when you’re faced with a big decision. There are many visible and obvious symptoms that we feel in uncomfortable situations. Our body’s reaction is often something that we might try to hide, for example, blushing, being lost for words, or shaking. There are things we might do to try and hide that physical reaction, whether it’s wearing makeup, having a glass of wine or coffee to perk us up a bit, or learning to control our nerves.

                                However, paying attention to your body when you experience these feelings of anxiety can teach you so much and help you to make sound choices. Some people will experience an actual “gut” feeling of stomach ache or indigestion in an uncomfortable situation.

                                Ask yourself what’s really going on here, and explore what is happening behind your body’s response to the situation. What can your reaction or instinct teach you? Understanding that can be a clue and can help you either learn something about yourself, the situation, or other people. The answers are often within us.

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                                Sometimes we’ll get this “something’s not right here” feeling and cannot quite put our finger on it or explain it. That can still be incredibly useful and really guide us away from danger, even if we don’t know the reason.

                                In his book, Blink, Malcolm Gladwell also argues this, making the point that sometimes our subconscious is better at processing the answer we need, and that we don’t necessarily need to take time to collect hours and hours of information to come to a reliable conclusion[1].

                                2. Ensure Your Head Is Clear Before Making a Decision

                                Energy, sleep, and good nutrition are so vital to nourishing our minds, as well as our bodies. There are times when your instinct could lead you astray, and one of these is when you are hungry, “hangry” (angry because you’re hungry!), tired, or anxious. If this is the case–and it may sound obvious–do consider sleeping or eating on it before making an important choice.

                                There is, in fact, a connection between our gut and our brain[2], which is where terms like “butterflies in the stomach” and “gut-wrenching” originate from. Stress and emotions can cause physical feelings, and ignoring them might do more harm than good.

                                3. Don’t Be Afraid to Say What You Think and Feel

                                Listening to your gut and really paying attention to it might involve standing up and being counted, calling something out, or taking a stand. As someone who works for myself, I’ve become used to following the less-travelled road, and that’s given me the chance to strike out on my own in other ways, too.

                                As they tell you in the planes, “put your own oxygen mask on first,” and part of that self-reliance is knowing what you really want and like and what is safe and good for you, including what resonates with your personal and business values. Making good decisions with this in mind means making choices that do not go against your own beliefs, even when it may mean taking a stand. This is part of trusting yourself and trusting your instincts.

                                This does not always mean taking the “safe” option, although keeping ourselves safe is an important part of the process. This is how we learn and grow, by following our own inner compass. When you do take risks, go outside of your comfort zone, or choose the less popular option, spending some time researching the facts can stand us in good stead, too.

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                                4. Do Your Research If Something Feels Off

                                As well as listening to our instincts, we can also back up the evidence for our chosen course of action before taking the leap. I had a gut feeling about the need for a learning and development network when I noticed my clients getting stuck with the same problems. I set up and now run such a network, but instead of simply going for it, without evidence, I followed up on my instinct with research.

                                Having confidence in your gut instinct through these kinds of tests can help to minimize your risks, as well as spur you on. It will encourage you to trust your gut again in the future and trust that you are an expert with foresight and experience. You are!

                                5. Challenge Your Assumptions

                                When you look at the assumptions your making, this could be the clue to mistakes you are making.

                                In order to check that our instincts are wise, we need to ask ourselves what blanks we might be filling in, either consciously or unconsciously. This is true not just when it comes to our own decision-making. It’s also true when we are listening to someone explain a problem or situation, and we’re about to jump in and give some advice. If we can learn to be aware of our own assumptions, we can become better listeners and better decision makers, too.

                                A useful tool to become more aware of your assumptions before making a final decision is simply to ask yourself, “What assumptions am I making about this situation or person?”

                                6. Educate Yourself on Unconscious Bias

                                Unconscious bias is something we all have, and it can trip us up big time!

                                There is a vital caveat to bear in mind when wondering about whether you can trust your gut and the feelings your body gives you, and that’s having an awareness of your unconscious bias. Understanding your own bias–which is hard to do because it literally does happen in our subconscious–can help you to make stronger, better, decisions instead of re-confirming your view of the world over and over again.

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                                Bias exists, and it’s part of the human condition. All of us have it, and it colors our decisions and can impact on our performance without us realizing.

                                Unconscious bias happens at a subconscious level in our brains. Our subconscious brain processes information so much faster than our conscious brain. Quick decisions we make in our subconscious are based on both our societal conditioning and how our families raised us.

                                Our brains process hundreds of thousands of pieces of information daily. We unconsciously categorize and format that information into patterns that feel familiar to us. Aspects such as gender, disability, class, sexuality, body shape and size, ethnicity, and what someone does for a job can all quickly influence decisions we make about people and the relationships we choose to form. Our unconscious bias can be very subtle and go unnoticed..

                                We naturally tend to gravitate towards people similar to ourselves, favoring people who we see as belonging to the same “group” as us. Being able to make a quick decision about whether someone is part of your group and distinguish friend from foe was what helped early humans to survive. Conversely, we don’t automatically favor people who we don’t immediately relate to or easily connect with.

                                The downside of that human instinct to seek out similar people is the potential for prejudice, which seems to be hard-wired into human cognition, no matter how open-minded we believe ourselves to be. And these stereotypes we create can be wrong. If we only spend our time with and employ people similar to ourselves, it can create prejudices, as well as stifle fresh thinking and innovation.

                                We may feel more natural or comfortable working with other people who share our own background and/or opinions than collaborating with people who don’t look, talk, or think like us. However, diversity is not just morally right; having a mix of different people and perspectives that can be genuinely heard is also a valuable way to counter groupthink. Diversity stretches us to think more critically and creatively.

                                7. Trust Yourself

                                It is possible to learn how to truly trust yourself[3]. Like any talent or skill, practicing trusting your gut is the best way to get really good at it. When people talk about having great intuition or being good decision-makers, it’s because they’ve worked at honing those skills, made mistakes, learned from them, and tried again.

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                                Looking back at decisions you’ve made, what you did, what the outcome was, and what you’ve learned can help you become a stronger decision maker and develop solid self-trust and resilience. Making a mistake does not mean you are not great at decision-making; it’s a chance to grow and learn, and the only mistake is to ignore the lesson in that experience.

                                If you are in the habit of asking others for their input, then the trick here is to choose your inner circle wisely. Having a sounding board of people who have your best interests at heart is a valuable asset, and, combined with your own excellent instincts, can make you a champion decision maker.

                                The Bottom Line

                                The above tips are all actionable and easy to start immediately. It’s simply about switching your thinking around, slowing down, and taking great care of this amazing machine that is your body and mind!

                                Learning how to trust your gut is one of the most fundamental ways to make decisions that will help you lead the life you want and need. Tune into what your body is telling you and start making good decisions today.

                                More Tips on How to Trust Your Gut

                                Featured photo credit: Acy Varlan via unsplash.com

                                Reference

                                [1] Science of People: Learn to Trust Your Gut Instincts: The Science Behind Thin-slicing
                                [2] Harvard Health Publishing: The gut-brain connection
                                [3] Psych Central: 3 Ways to Develop Self-Trust

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