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Yes Social Media Can Be Good For Productivity, Here’s Why

Yes Social Media Can Be Good For Productivity, Here’s Why

Social media gets a bad rap in the workplace, yet 9 out of every 10 small businesses uses social media as a valued marketing tool. Even so, when it comes to productivity, we shun social media as a guilty distraction. Is social media always such a nasty time waste or can it be good for productivity?

Here are seven ways to use social media for productivity. And a bonus tip.

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1. Set up groups for your projects.

Most social media networks have group features that allow you to communicate and organize group work effectively. Facebook and LinkedIn are prime examples and in each you can make groups private or public. Use these groups to organize files, start discussions, and set meetings with events. Use Twitter lists in a similar fashion to keep track of each group member’s contribution to a conversation.

2. Use messenger features to hone in on resources.

Messenger tools are a fast and efficient way of communicating with your team members, clients and resources. Use Facebook and Google+ chat to hone in on them. Start conversations with key contributors and potential collaborators to focus in on important details of your project. You can use messenger features to quickly clarify or delegate.

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3. Conduct social research.

Social media is a hot bed of ripe information. Take advantage of the candor and conduct in depth research with the use of social media networks. In many sites you can set up discussions, such as Reddit, LinkedIn or Google+, or you can simply do a targeted search. Find out what your peers are discussing, hashtagging, liking, even eating related to your topic. You can interact with them and ask specific questions to gain further insight and make valuable connections.

4. Monitor a topic through targeted search.

Social media is continuously evolving, shifting and changing pace, but one thing for certain is there’s always someone talking, or in this case typing. This means there’s an ever-growing pool of information about your topic being spewed over the web. To stay current, use social media to monitor your topic. Hootsuite is a great tool for this because you can set up search streams within different social networks in your dashboard. Another great tool is Social Mention, which monitors over 100 social media sites to provide you with the most current and most relevant activity on your topic.

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Social Media Productivity
    5. Make connections.

    Recruiting talent is just a click away with today’s social media networks. Social media productivity means using your friends, followers and connections to ask for introductions, acquire recommendations, and build the strongest team possible for your work. Maybe you’re looking for a mentor, or maybe you’re looking for a team member, either way, harness your social skills. Don’t be shy and take advantage of how close we’ve become, even miles apart.

    6. Organize resources visually.

    There are many visual social media productivity tools, and one such is Pinterest. It was once thought the only users of Pinterest were housewives and crafters, but this network is brilliant when it comes to visually organizing your resources. You can create mood boards, collect inspiration, or even gather informative articles all in one place easily accessed anywhere. Flickr is another tool for collecting visuals, but in a different way. Sort pictures from your events, and then tag and share them with your followers.

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    7. Ask a question.

    If you’ve ever wondered how to do a task you’ve never done before all you have to do is ask. Google it, search a video tutorial on YouTube, or post a question in a forum. Productivity has never been simpler because knowledge has never been closer. The web is overpopulated with tutorials and how to’s so nowadays, all you need is the ability to efficiently search Google.

    8. Stay on task.

    With all these social media productivity tips it’s hard to tell you to just turn it off. But sometimes, that’s what’s needed. When you’re not using it, turn off messenger features so that you can select who you chat with. Schedule your posts in advance so you don’t disturb your workflow. And, most importantly, take breaks from work, take breaks from social media, and take breaks from your screen.

    If you’re still feeling a little bummed about your social media productivity, here are 5 keys to liking social media again.

    Featured photo credit: Jason Howie via flickr.com

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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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