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

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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.

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    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 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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    More Tips to Conquer Time Wasters and Procrastination

     

    Featured photo credit: RODOLFO BARRETO via unsplash.com

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