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Does Social Media Make You A More Productive Employee?

Does Social Media Make You A More Productive Employee?

Social media isn’t just good for company branding.

Recent studies have found that employees who frequently used social media are more productive than those who don’t; the former are more service- and customer-oriented and can get more done in less time than their non-Twitter junkie counterparts.

Why, exactly, does social media usage make a better employee?

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1. It makes you more creative

What’s more inspiring than the collective streams of consciousness of hundreds of thousands of people from anywhere in the world? Being an active social media user exposes you to tons of new or unique insight, ideas, and solutions. Image-oriented social networks like Pinterest or Tumblr give added visual inspiration and knowledge for the visual learners out there. All of that content can put you miles ahead of your colleagues who don’t participate in social networking sites.

2. You become a better (and more willing) collaborator

Collaboration is an inherent part of being active on social networks. And collaboration doesn’t just mean a conscious partnership on a particular project. Whether it’s getting involved in a Facebook group, helping spread a hashtag on Twitter, or participating in a forum on LinkedIn, active social media users are likely to have participated in some kind of collaboration effort, whether they realized it at the time or not.

3. Social knowledge = quality assurance

Research and Googling can only get you so far; it’s the real-time, socially-generated knowledge of social networks that provides in-depth consumer/customer insight. This is especially true if you work in a customer service capacity.

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Social media, and knowing how to use it well, is an exceptional asset in and of itself in today’s economy. An awesome social media strategy can make your brand more popular than ever before — or create a total disaster.

Obviously, a social media manager needs to be savvy in managing social media, but those skills apply to general customer support and relations as well. Employees who are better socially versed will have better social interactions, meaning easier and better time spent talking to and helping customers, as well as more effective communication within the workplace.

4. You know how to get knowledge more efficiently

Social networks can be great tools to find info or answers to questions. This sounds like a strange claim if you think of “social networks” exclusively in the Facebook/Twitter department; how many times have you tweeted a question to the void without anyone ever offering a solution? However, we (especially Millennials) forget that forums are social networks. They’re also popular search results when running specific questions through search engines, so if you’ve ever Googled something for work and found helpful info on a forum, you’ve technically used social networks to help you on the job.

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Online forums are a wealth of information on both the frequency of various problems and user-generated solutions. Active social media users know the power of the masses can collaborate to help solve each other’s problems. Your less social media-savvy counterparts aren’t getting as much done by flipping through old manuals or hunting down other employees or your boss for help.

5. You network more efficiently

You may be thinking: “Duh, LinkedIn.” Yes, that’s the obvious online networking tool. But other seemingly less professional social media sites are often just as useful for networking. Twitter is an obvious one, but Facebook can also be used for networking if you use a professional page. Not only can you reach a broader group of connections, you can do it without spending the extra time hunting people down at events or luncheons just to say hi. Your Twitter followers could be more invaluable than your coworker’s Rolodex.

 

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And remember: social media can only benefit you if you know how it helps. Too much idle Tumblr browsing on the job isn’t necessarily an asset. Everything in moderation.

Featured photo credit: Instagram and Social Media Apps/Jason Howie via secure.flickr.com

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Last Updated on September 17, 2018

How to Stop Multitasking and Become Way More Productive

How to Stop Multitasking and Become Way More Productive

Today we are expected to work in highly disruptive environments. We sit down at our desks, turn on our computer and immediately we are hit with hundreds of emails all vying for our attention.

Our phones are beeping and pinging with new alerts to messages, likes and comments and our colleagues are complaining about the latest company initiative is designed to get us to do more work and spend less time at home.

All these distractions result in us multitasking where our attention is switching between one crisis and the next.

Multitasking is a problem. But how to stop multitasking?

How bad really is multitasking?

It dilutes your focus and attention so even the easiest of tasks become much harder and take longer to complete.

Studies have shown that while you think you are multitasking, you are in fact task switching, which means your attention is switching between two or more pieces of work and that depletes the energy resources you have to do your work.

This is why, even though you may have done little to no physical activity, you arrive home at the end of the day feeling exhausted and not in the mood to do anything.

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We know it is not a good way to get quality work done, but the demands for out attention persist and rather than reduce, are likely to increase as the years go by.

So what to do about it?

Ways to stop multitasking and increase productivity

Now, forget about how to multitask!

Here are a few strategies on how to stop multitasking so you can get better quality and more work done in the time you have each working day:

1. Get enough rest

When you are tired, your brain has less strength to resist even the tiniest attention seeker. This is why when you find your mind wandering, it is a sign your brain is tired and time to take a break.

This does not just mean taking breaks throughout the day, it also means making sure you get enough sleep every day.

When you are well rested and take short regular breaks throughout the day your brain is fully refuelled and ready to focus in on the work that is important.

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2. Plan your day

When you don’t have a plan for the day, the day will create a plan for you. When you allow outside influences to take control of your day, it is very hard not to be dragged off in all directions.

When you have a plan for the day, when you arrive at work your brain knows exactly what it is you want to accomplish and will subconsciously have prepared itself for a sustained period of focused work.

Your resistance to distractions and other work will be high and you will focus much better on the work that needs doing.

3. Remove everything from your desk and screen except for the work you are doing

I learned this one a long time ago. In my previous work, I worked in a law office and I had case files to deal with. If I had more than one case file on my desk at any one time, I would find my eyes wandering over the other case files on my desk when I had something difficult to do.

I was looking for something easier. This meant often I was working on three or four cases at one time and that always led to mistakes and slower completion.

Now when I am working on something, I am in full-screen mode where all I can see is the work I am working on right now.

4. When at your desk, do work

We are creatures of habit. If we do our online shopping and news reading at our desks as well as our work, we will always have the temptation to be doing stuff that we should not be doing at that moment.

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Do your online shopping from another place—your home or from your phone when you are having a break—and only do your work when at your desk. This conditions your brain to focus in on your work and not other distractions.

5. Learn to say no

Whenever you hear the phrase “learn to say no,” it does not mean going about being rude to everyone. What it does mean is delay saying yes.

Most problems occur when we say “yes” immediately. We then have to spend an inordinate amount of energy thinking of ways to get ourselves out of the commitment we made.

By saying “let me think about it” or “can I let you know later” gives you time to evaluate the offer and allows you to get back to what you were doing quicker.

6. Turn off notifications on your computer

For most of us, we still use computers to do our work. When you have email alert pop-ups and other notifications turned on, they will distract you no matter how strong you feel.

Turn them off and schedule email reviewing for times between doing your focused work. Doing this will give you a lot of time back because you will be able to remain focused on the work in front of you.

7. Find a quiet place to do your most important work

Most workplaces have meeting rooms that are vacant. If you do have important work to get done, ask if you can use one of those rooms and do your work there.

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You can close the door, put on your headphones and just focus on what is important. This is a great way to remove all the other, non-important, tasks demanding your attention and just focus on one piece of work.

The bottom line

Focusing on one piece of work at a time can be hard but the benefits to the amount of work you get done are worth it. You will make fewer mistakes, you will get more done and will feel a lot less tired at the end of the day.

Make a list of the four or five things you want to get done the next day before you finish your work for the day and when you start the day, begin at the top of the list with the first item.

Don’t start anything else until you have finished the first one and then move on to the second one. This one trick will help you to become way more productive.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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