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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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    1 The Pros and Cons of Being Self-Critical (And How to Strike a Balance) 2 How Not to Feel Overwhelmed at Work & Take Control of Your Day 3 How to Start Delegating Tasks Effectively (Step-by-Step Guide) 4 How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators 5 8 Dreadful Effects of Procrastination That Can Destroy Your Life

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    Last Updated on October 22, 2020

    How Not to Feel Overwhelmed at Work & Take Control of Your Day

    How Not to Feel Overwhelmed at Work & Take Control of Your Day

    Overwhelm is a pernicious state largely caused by the ever-increasing demands on our time and the distractions that exist all around us. It creeps up on us and can, in its extreme form, leave us feeling anxious, stressed, and exhausted. Therefore, if you’re feeling overwhelmed at work, it’s time to do something about it.

    Here are 6 strategies you can follow that will reduce the feeling of overwhelm, leaving you calmer, in control, and a lot less stressed at work.

    1. Write Everything Down to Offload Your Mind

    The first thing you can do when work feels overwhelming is to write everything down that is on your mind.

    Often people just write down all the things they think they have to do. This does help, but a more effective way to reduce overwhelm is to also write down everything that’s occupying your thoughts[1].

    For example, you may have had an argument with your colleague or a loved one. If it’s on your mind, write it down. A good way to do this is to draw a line down the middle of the page and title one section “things to do” and the other “what’s on my mind.”

    The act of writing all this down and getting it out of your head will help you stop feeling overwhelmed at work. Writing things down can really change your life.

    2. Decide How Long It Will Take to Complete Your To-Dos

    Once you have emptied your head, go through your list and estimate how long it will take to complete each to-do.

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    As you go through your list, you will find quite a few to-dos will only take you five or ten minutes. Others will take longer, often up to several hours.

    Do not worry about that at this stage. Just focus on estimating how long you will need to complete each task to the best of your ability. You can learn how to create a more meaningful to-do list here.

    3. Take Advantage of Parkinson’s Law

    Here’s a little trick I learned a long time ago to help when work feels overwhelming. Parkinson’s Law states that work will fill the time you have available to complete it, and we humans are terrible at estimating how long something will take[2]:

    When feeling overwhelmed at work, use Parkinson's Law.

      This is why many people are always late. They think it will only take them thirty minutes to drive across town when previous experience has taught them it usually takes forty-five minutes to do so because traffic is often bad. It’s more wishful thinking than bad judgment.

      We can use Parkinson’s Law to our advantage when we’re feeling overwhelmed at work. If you have estimated that to write five important emails will take ninety minutes, then reduce it down to one hour. Likewise, if you have estimated it will take you three hours to prepare your upcoming presentation, reduce it down to two hours.

      Reducing the time you estimate something will take gives you two advantages. The first is you get your work done quicker, obviously. The second is that you put yourself under a little time pressure, and in doing so you reduce the likelihood you will be distracted or allow yourself to procrastinate.

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      When we overestimate how long something will take, subconsciously our brains know we have plenty of time, so it plays tricks on us, and we end up checking reviews of the Apple Watch 4 or allow our team members to interrupt us with the latest office gossip.

      Applying a little time pressure prevents this from happening, and we get more focused and more work done. This will help when work feels overwhelming.

      4. Use the Power of Your Calendar

      Once you have your time estimates done, open up your calendar and schedule your to-dos to avoid getting overwhelmed at work. Schedule time for each task, especially high priority tasks, while also grouping together similar tasks. This will help relieve stress and anxiety in your daily work life.

      For emails that need attention on your to-do list, schedule time on your calendar to deal with all your emails at once. Likewise, if you have a report to write or a presentation to prepare, add these to your calendar using your estimated time as a guide for how long each will take.

      Seeing these items on your calendar eases your mind because you know you have allocated time to get them done, and you no longer feel you have no time. Grouping similar tasks together keeps you in a focused state longer, and it’s amazing how much work you get done when you do this.

      5. Make Decisions

      For those things you wrote down that are on your mind but are not tasks, make a decision about what you will do with each one[3]. These things are on your mind because you have not made a decision about them.

      If you have an issue with a colleague, a friend, or a loved one, take a little time to think about what would be the best way to resolve the problem. More often than not just talking with the person involved will clear the air and resolve the problem.

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      If it is a more serious issue, then decide how best to deal with it. Talk to your boss or a colleague and get advice.

      Whatever you do, do not allow it to fester. Ignoring the problem will not make it go away and will only make you feel more overwhelmed at work. You need to make a decision to deal with it, and the sooner you do so the sooner the problem will be resolved.

      I remember long ago, when I was in my early twenties and had gone mad with my newly acquired credit cards. I discovered I didn’t have the money to pay my monthly bills. I worried about it for days, got stressed, and really didn’t know what to do. Eventually, I told a good friend about the problem.

      He suggested I called the credit card company to explain my problem. The next day, I plucked up the courage to call the company, explained my problem, and the wonderful person the other end listened and then suggested I pay a smaller amount for a couple of months.

      This one phone call took no more than ten minutes to make, yet it solved my problem and took away a lot of the stress I was feeling at the time. I learned two very valuable lessons from that experience:

      The first was: don’t go mad with newly acquired credit cards! And the second: there’s always a solution to every problem if you just talk to the right person.

      6. Take Some Form of Action

      Because overwhelm is something that creeps up on us, once we are feeling overwhelmed at work (and stressed as the two often go together), the key is to take some form of action.

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      The act of writing everything down that is bothering you and causing you to feel overwhelmed is a great place to start. Being able to see what it is that is bothering you in a list form, no matter how long that list is, eases the mind. You have externalized it.

      It also means that, rather than these worries floating around in a jumbled mess inside your head, they are now visible, and you can make decisions about what to do about them.

      Often, it could be asking a colleague for a little help, or it could be that you need to allocate some focused time to get the work done. The important thing is you make a decision on what to do next.

      When work feels overwhelming, it’s not always caused by a feeling of having a lack of time or too much work. It can also be caused by avoiding a decision about what to do next.

      The Bottom Line

      It’s easy to feel like you have too much on your plate, but there are things you do to make it more manageable. 

      Make a decision, even if it’s just talking to someone about what to do next. Making a decision about how you will resolve something will reduce your feelings of overwhelm and start you down the path to a resolution.

      When you follow these strategies, you can say goodbye to your overwhelm and gain much more control over your day.

      More Tips for Reducing Work Stress

      Featured photo credit: Josefa nDiaz via unsplash.com

      Reference

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