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How to stay on track (for the easily distracted)

Can you see the hidden image in the picture?

No?

OK, so there isn’t one (although if you did see something I would love to know!) .  For any of you that have spent more than 10 seconds staring at the picture, I am going to guess you are quite easily distracted!  You have probably  had one of those days where you go onto LinkedIn or Twitter, scroll down your home feed, start clicking on links, and an hour later wonder what you have actually been doing?

It is really easy to get distracted when online, and especially when using social media, and sometimes that is how you can find some of the best content.  However if you are running a business you need to be smart with your time, and focus on what you need to be doing.

Here are some tips on how to avoid the classic distractions when using some of your favourite social media tools, without missing out on some great content:

  1. Set up a separate email address for messages / DM’s/ Connection invitations to go to.  This stops you from just going clicking on to the sites to do something quickly, and ending up wasting half an hour!
  2. Schedule time in your diary to respond to these messages, and time to post your own updates.  Use a timer or alarm to make sure you only spend the time you set yourself for this.
  3. If you come across something of interest, when you are meant to be doing something else, rather than clicking straight through, save the URL for later.  Some of my favourites ways to do this are to copy and paste it into a task list / calendar or set up a favourites list in your browser ‘to read’.
  4. In Twitter, set up lists of the different types of people you follow.  I have lists set up for ‘social media news’, ‘internet marketing’, ‘networking contacts’ etc.  When I want to know any good stories in Social Media, I can easily go to that list of people and don’t have to trawl through a long feed to find them!
  5. Use your otherwise ‘dead’ time to search around and get updated on what others are doing.  With most people having some form of smart phone, it is really easy to get on to LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook on the move.  I always arrive 10 minutes early for the school run so I can get a parking space – this is my Twitter time!!

Above all, the best way to avoid distractions is to always know why you are there, and what you want to get from it.  If you know what you want to achieve it is much easier to stay on track.

Do you have any other tips to stay on top of your time?

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