Today’s world is quite different than the one our parents grew up in. It is fast-paced and only getting faster. Social networking has opened us up to levels of success that they couldn’t have even dream of. But is all this effort you are putting into your social network helping or hurting you? Feel exhausted, overwhelmed or controlled by your social network life? Then this article is for you. Here are 5 ways to take control of your Internet world—so it doesn’t take control of you.
1. How much time are you wasting?
If you’re reading this article, I am going to take a wild guess that you’re aware your social network life is a little out of balance. It’s important you know how out of balance it is so you can properly tackle the problem. Take the next few days to determine how much time and energy is being wasted on which particular sites and activities. When you chart your activity and the amount of time you spend with each activity, you get a clear look at what needs to be dealt with.
2. What are your must-do and can-do-withouts?
If you use social networking for your business, then quitting it completely for a week is out of the question. That doesn’t mean you can’t shed a few interactions. Figure out what your priorities are. Which (and how many) posts, tweets, or emails are really required to maintain a healthy rate of return? What activities have no return for you at all? Sorting this out can free up quite a bit of time and energy.
One quick and easy way to balance out your time on the Internet is to auto-multi-task. Link your Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn pages to send one message out to all three at once. There are several sites out there that can take care of this for you. (I use is Ping.fm.)
4. Schedule a specific amount of time
By setting aside a limited amount of time each day to log into your social networking sites, you’re ensuring that you don’t create a “time-suck” situation. How many times have you lost track of time scrolling through newsfeeds on Facebook or Twitter? Literally set a timer next to computer before you log to those sites. When you have a specific amount of time set aside, you’ll be prone to prioritize.
5. Go on a hiatus
If at all possible, take a break from the social networking world. This will ward off burn out and may even make you a bit more desirable to your clientele. (Supply and demand, anyone?) Just be sure to warn your people that you’re taking a break and that you will be back soon so they don’t worry or forget about you.
It is important that we don’t throw the baby out with the bath water when it comes to online communication. Giving it up entirely would be a huge mistake for most people. Social media has transformed the world in so many positive ways. However, it must be carried out with disciplined balance so that it doesn’t cause burn out or dysfunction. Use your time spent on the Internet wisely. Control the beast or it will control you.
Sarah Stevenson, a.k.a., The Tini Yogini, is a Certified Yoga Instructor in Southern California. She has a degree in Behavioral Psychology and teaches not only yoga classes but also life affirming workshops. She also writes for www.beachbody.com, which provides effective weight loss fitness programs for all fitness levels.
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