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The Best Social Media Advice You Never Hear

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The Best Social Media Advice You Never Hear

Ever find yourself thinking you should create a new Facebook page for your business – even though you already have one?

Or considering opening a new Twitter account – when you’ve got one to update already?

Or maybe even starting a new blog – when you’re already struggling to grow the one you’ve got?

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We’re told time and time again that we need to create an all-inclusive social media strategy, that we need to embrace all the latest tools. But today I’m here with a different kind of social media advice. I’m here to tell you to use FEWER social media networks.

Use social media LESS? What?!

Once you recognize the benefits of social media – once you see how much traffic it drives to your website and customers it attracts to your brand – it’s easy to get sucked into the more-is-better mindset. A Twitter account for your dog! Your business! Your book and even a character in your book! Before you know it, you’ve got five handles to manage.

Yet this symptom of trying to be everywhere, on every social platform, is actually working against you.

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Sometimes we get so caught up in the social media frenzy that we lose sight of whether these tools are actually helping us reach our true goals. Rather than interacting on certain social media platforms to sell books, create a community or raise awareness of our cause, most of us do it because we think we have to.

More is not necessarily better. In most cases, if you have too many online profiles — especially more than one on the same platform — your online personalities will compete against each other. That means if you’re really smart, you’ll find a way to combine those interests under one blog or handle.

Because if you’re spending time on a Facebook page that’s growing so slowly it isn’t helping you reach your business goals, you’d be better off taking that time and using it on, say, Twitter, or whatever tool works best for you.

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In other words, stuff the “be everywhere” approach and choose one or two or three that will work for you.

How I’ve successfully used this approach

I struggled with this when I started my own business. I didn’t want a separate website for Socialexis, and I couldn’t visualize how I would integrate that content onto my blog.

Would my readers, who were used to coming to me for information on writing and travel, want to read about social media? Would they lose interest if I added another seemingly unrelated log to the fire?

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Turns out my readers did want to read about social media experiences, and my blog continues to grow. Why? Because most of my readers and customers visit my blog and purchase my products, for MY thoughts, MY insight, MY knowledge.

Of course, the brand of YOU has to be valuable or entertaining, or it won’t catch on. It has to be relatable and personable. But if the umbrella topic is you and your products and posts are infused with your voice, it makes sense to have only one blog or social media handle even if you have a variety of interests.

Here are some of the other benefits of sticking to fewer accounts:

  1. Diversity makes you interesting. Writing about several different topics makes you more interesting and more diverse. If if you’re blogging in the bull’s eye of your topic, what you’re saying has probably already been said before, maybe a million times. Instead, blog around the fringes, blending that topic with other ideas, adding a personal story with your voice. Your diverse interests make you more relatable and more interesting, and that will separate you from the millions of voices out there.
  2. You’re no longer competing against yourself. If you segment your audience within one channel, you’re essentially working against yourself. But by bringing everyone to same party, you’ve got a much bigger, more effective platform. I’ve already built up a community on my blog, so why not use that to my advantage when it comes to my social media business, too?
  3. It creates less work for you. Having fewer accounts means less work for you, which means you can put more energy into ONE account or blog, which means you’re more likely to succeed. And that’s what we’re going for at the of the day: success.

What social media profile can you ditch TODAY, so you can spend more time focusing on what really matters?

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Featured photo credit:  hand with social media icons via Shutterstock

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Last Updated on October 21, 2021

How to Create Your Own Ritual to Conquer Time Wasters and Laziness

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How to Create Your Own Ritual to Conquer Time Wasters and Laziness

Life is wasted in the in-between times. The time between when your alarm first rings and when you finally decide to get out of bed. The time between when you sit at your desk and when productive work begins. The time between making a decision and doing something about it.

Slowly, your day is whittled away from all the unused in-between moments. Eventually, time wasters, laziness, and procrastination get the better of you.

The solution to reclaim these lost middle moments is by creating rituals. Every culture on earth uses rituals to transfer information and encode behaviors that are deemed important. Personal rituals can help you build a better pattern for handling everything from how you wake up to how you work.

Unfortunately, when most people see rituals, they see pointless superstitions. Indeed, many rituals are based on a primitive understanding of the world. But by building personal rituals, you get to encode the behaviors you feel are important and cut out the wasted middle moments.

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Program Your Own Algorithms

Another way of viewing rituals is by seeing them as computer algorithms. An algorithm is a set of instructions that is repeated to get a result.

Some algorithms are highly efficient, sorting or searching millions of pieces of data in a few seconds. Other algorithms are bulky and awkward, taking hours to do the same task.

By forming rituals, you are building algorithms for your behavior. Take the delayed and painful pattern of waking up, debating whether to sleep in for another two minutes, hitting the snooze button, repeat until almost late for work. This could be reprogrammed to get out of bed immediately, without debating your decision.

How to Form a Ritual

I’ve set up personal rituals for myself for handling e-mail, waking up each morning, writing articles, and reading books. Far from making me inflexible, these rituals give me a useful default pattern that works best 99% of the time. Whenever my current ritual won’t work, I’m always free to stop using it.

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Forming a ritual isn’t too difficult, and the same principles for changing habits apply:

  1. Write out your sequence of behavior. I suggest starting with a simple ritual of only 3-4 steps maximum. Wait until you’ve established a ritual before you try to add new steps.
  2. Commit to following your ritual for thirty days. This step will take the idea and condition it into your nervous system as a habit.
  3. Define a clear trigger. When does your ritual start? A ritual to wake up is easy—the sound of your alarm clock will work. As for what triggers you to go to the gym, read a book or answer e-mail—you’ll have to decide.
  4. Tweak the Pattern. Your algorithm probably won’t be perfectly efficient the first time. Making a few tweaks after the first 30-day trial can make your ritual more useful.

Ways to Use a Ritual

Based on the above ideas, here are some ways you could implement your own rituals:

1. Waking Up

Set up a morning ritual for when you wake up and the next few things you do immediately afterward. To combat the grogginess after immediately waking up, my solution is to do a few pushups right after getting out of bed. After that, I sneak in ninety minutes of reading before getting ready for morning classes.

2. Web Usage

How often do you answer e-mail, look at Google Reader, or check Facebook each day? I found by taking all my daily internet needs and compressing them into one, highly-efficient ritual, I was able to cut off 75% of my web time without losing any communication.

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3. Reading

How much time do you get to read books? If your library isn’t as large as you’d like, you might want to consider the rituals you use for reading. Programming a few steps to trigger yourself to read instead of watching television or during a break in your day can chew through dozens of books each year.

4. Friendliness

Rituals can also help with communication. Set up a ritual of starting a conversation when you have opportunities to meet people.

5. Working

One of the hardest barriers when overcoming procrastination is building up a concentrated flow. Building those steps into a ritual can allow you to quickly start working or continue working after an interruption.

6. Going to the gym

If exercising is a struggle, encoding a ritual can remove a lot of the difficulty. Set up a quick ritual for going to exercise right after work or when you wake up.

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7. Exercise

Even within your workouts, you can have rituals. Spacing the time between runs or reps with a certain number of breaths can remove the guesswork. Forming a ritual of doing certain exercises in a particular order can save time.

8. Sleeping

Form a calming ritual in the last 30-60 minutes of your day before you go to bed. This will help slow yourself down and make falling asleep much easier. Especially if you plan to get up full of energy in the morning, it will help if you remove insomnia.

8. Weekly Reviews

The weekly review is a big part of the GTD system. By making a simple ritual checklist for my weekly review, I can get the most out of this exercise in less time. Originally, I did holistic reviews where I wrote my thoughts on the week and progress as a whole. Now, I narrow my focus toward specific plans, ideas, and measurements.

Final Thoughts

We all want to be productive. But time wasters, procrastination, and laziness sometimes get the better of us. If you’re facing such difficulties, don’t be afraid to make use of these rituals to help you conquer them.

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Featured photo credit: RODOLFO BARRETO via unsplash.com

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