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The Best Social Media Advice You Never Hear

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?

Featured photo credit:  hand with social media icons via Shutterstock

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Last Updated on July 8, 2020

How to Prevent Decision Fatigue From Clouding Your Judgement

How to Prevent Decision Fatigue From Clouding Your Judgement

What is decision fatigue? Let me explain this with an example:

When determining a court ruling, there are many factors that contribute to their final verdict. You probably assume that the judge’s decision is influenced solely by the nature of the crime committed or the particular laws that were broken. While this is completely valid, there is an even greater influential factor that dictates the judge’s decision: the time of day.

In 2012, a research team from Columbia University[1] examined 1,112 court rulings set in place by a Parole Board Judge over a 10 month period. The judge would have to determine whether the individuals in question would be released from prison on parole, or a change in the parole terms.

While the facts of the case often take precedence in decision making, the judges mental state had an alarming influence on their verdict.

As the day goes on, the chance of a favorable ruling drops:

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    Image source: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

    Does the time of day, or the judges level of hunger really contribute that greatly to their decision making? Yes, it does.

    The research went on to show that at the start of the day the likelihood of the judging giving out a favorable ruling was somewhere around 65%.

    But as the morning dragged on, the judge became fatigued and drained from making decision after decision. As more time went on, the odds of receiving a favorable ruling decreased steadily until it was whittled down to zero.

    However, right after their lunch break, the judge would return to the courtroom feeling refreshed and recharged. Energized by their second wind, their leniency skyrockets back up to a whopping 65%. And again, as the day drags on to its finish, the favorable rulings slowly diminish along with the judge’s spirits.

    This is no coincidence. According to the carefully recorded research, this was true for all 1,112 cases. The severity of the crime didn’t matter. Whether it was rape, murder, theft, or embezzlement, the criminal was more likely to get a favorable ruling either early in the morning, or after the judges lunch break.

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    Are You Suffering from Decision Fatigue Too?

    We all suffer from decision fatigue without even realizing it.

    Perhaps you aren’t a judge with the fate of an individual’s life at your disposal, but the daily decisions you make for yourself could hinder you if you’re not in the right head-space.

    Regardless of how energetic you feel (as I imagine it is somehow caffeine induced anyway), you will still experience decision fatigue. Just like every other muscle, your brain gets tired after periods of overuse, pumping out one decision after the next. It needs a chance to rest in order to function at a productive rate.

    The Detrimental Consequences of Decision Fatigue

    When you are in a position such as a Judge, you can’t afford to let your mental state dictate your decision making; but it still does. According to George Lowenstein, an American educator and economy expert, decision fatigue is to blame for poor decision making among members of high office. The disastrous level of failure among these individuals to control their impulses could be directly related to their day to day stresses at work and their private life.

    When you’re just too tired to think, you stop caring. And once you get careless, that’s when you need to worry. Decision fatigue can contribute to a number of issues such as impulse shopping (guilty), poor decision making at work, and poor decision making with after work relationships. You know what I’m talking about. Don’t dip your pen in the company ink.

    How to Make Decision Effectively

    Either alter the time of decision making to when your mind is the most fresh, or limit the number of decisions to be made. Try utilizing the following hacks for more effective decision making.

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    1. Make Your Most Important Decisions within the First 3 Hours

    You want to make decisions at your peak performance, so either first thing in the morning, or right after a break.

    Research has actually shown that you are the most productive for the first 3 hours[2] of your day. Utilize this time! Don’t waste it on trivial decisions such as what to wear, or mindlessly scrolling through social media.

    Instead, use this time to tweak your game plan. What do you want to accomplish? What can you improve? What steps do you need to take to reach these goals?

    2. Form Habits to Reduce Decision Making

    You don’t have to choose all the time.

    Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but it doesn’t have to be an extravagant spread every morning. Make a habit out of eating a similar or quick breakfast, and cut that step of your morning out of the way. Can’t decide what to wear? Pick the first thing that catches your eye. We both know that after 20 minutes of changing outfits you’ll just go with the first thing anyway.

    Powerful individuals such as Steve Jobs, Barack Obama, and Mark Zuckerberg don’t waste their precious time deciding what to wear. In fact, they have been known to limiting their outfits down to two options in order to reduce their daily decision making.

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    3. Take Frequent Breaks for a Clearer Mind

    You are at your peak of productivity after a break, so to reap the benefits, you need to take lots of breaks! I know, what a sacrifice. If judges make better decisions in the morning and after their lunch break, then so will you.

    The reason for this is because the belly is now full, and the hunger is gone. Roy Baumeister, Florida State University social psychologist[3] had found that low-glucose levels take a negative toll on decision making. By taking a break to replenish your glucose levels, you will be able to focus better and improve your decision making abilities.

    Even if you aren’t hungry, little breaks are still necessary to let your mind refresh, and come back being able to think more clearly.

    Structure your break times. Decide beforehand when you will take breaks, and eat energy sustaining snacks so that your energy level doesn’t drop too low. The time you “lose” during your breaks will be made up in the end, as your productivity will increase after each break.

    So instead of slogging through your day, letting your mind deteriorate and fall victim to the daily abuses of decision making, take a break, eat a snack. Let your mind refresh and reset, and jump-start your productivity throughout the day.

    More Tips About Decision Making

    Featured photo credit: Kelly Sikkema via unsplash.com

    Reference

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