Sometimes, social media sucks…
Ahhh, social media…the blessing and the curse of 21st-century entrepreneurship. And probably life in general. Full disclosure before we dive in…I love social media. In fact, I may love it a little too much. Which is why I created some social media boundaries for myself…which are a constantly evolving work in progress. And I wanted to share some steps you can take to protect your time, energy, and effort when you know social media is a vital part of running your business but social media sucks you into scroll holes.
Identifying and addressing any social media sucks in your daily routine help to protect your time and energy. And maybe most importantly, your mindset.
If you can create some clear rules around who, what, when, where, and how much you engage with social media, you can continue to use it to grow you community, build your brand, and make money…just with some clearly defined and maintained boundaries to protect you.
The strategies I share today help you shift from the “I have to spend lots time on social media to build my business, even though a significant percentage of the time I spend isn’t doing that” to “I am going to be intentional how I spend my time on social media”.
Depending on your stage of business you are in, you may feel like you have to show up everywhere, every day, at all hours. And I get that. When I started my organizing business in 2009, there weren’t even Facebook business pages. Fast forward to my coaching pivot in 2019 and I felt completely overwhelmed by sheer number of platforms and users. And the gurus say “go where your audience is.” Well, what if you don’t know where that is??? You have to spend time everywhere to figure that out, right? Maybe not necessarily so.
When you create an intentional plan for your social media, you can see growth without spreading yourself too thin. Or spending hours on multiple platforms and possibly losing precious time to mindless scrolling. I may be speaking from experience here.
You’ll approach social media with a clear plan for what you post. And boundaries around how much time and energy you spend on a platform outside of your business building activities.
This new clearly defined, boundary-bound plan of action for your social media will benefit your community because your time on social media will have a clear goal serving them. And you’ll reclaim time to focus on other aspects of your business, your family, or yourself…Sans cell phone by creating clear parameters around your social media use.
Creating Boundaries When Social Media Sucks
Ready to create some boundaries around your social media to protect and efficiently use your time, energy, and effort there? Here are 4 ways you can easily create those boundaries, especially when you are feeling sucked in:
- Take a break. Whether for a day or a week or whatever time you need. Maybe it’s just from a certain platform that really sucks you time and energy. Step away from daily interactions. Of course, you could still schedule content if you feel it necessary. (And I’m sure social media experts are cringing when I suggest you post and ghost…but it’s just for a little while.) The idea is just to hit the reset. Spend your time elsewhere. See how you feel and how your daily patterns, thoughts, and focus changes.
- Scale back on the number of platforms. If you’re spent trying to keep up with Facebook and Instagram and TikTok and YouTube and Pinterest and Clubhouse and whatever new flavor of the month social media pops this week…scale back. Where are you seeing the most growth? Which platform do you enjoy the most? Where do you have the strongest community or most interactions? Maybe you chose a platform for business and a platform for personal time. But by scaling back the number of places you are creating content for and posting to, you can reclaim time and energy to funnel into other activities.
- Set Time Limits. Who gets stuck in scroll holes? You can’t see me but I am raising my hand high. In fact, when we were deep in the thick of the quarantine, I spent close to 4-5 hours a day scrolling according to my phone’s tracker. 4-5 hours!!! And I can tell you nearly all of that was not “work related”. Both Apple and Android have built-in trackers that allow you to shut down access to the app after a certain time period. And there are third-party apps that do the same thing. The idea being that you can limit mindless scrolling and focus energy when you are on the app because you know if you don’t get it done in your 60-90 minutes of app access a day, you’ll have to wait until tomorrow. It’s like Parkinson’s Law says “work expands to fit the time allowed”. If you say you will get your social media work by spending 60 minutes a day on the app, you will. If you have no parameters, the time you take will also have no bounds.
- Hire help. Finally, if you are easily distractable, prone to mindless scrolling, or you feel like building your social media presence sucks way too much of your time, energy, and effort…hire a professional. Just like any time you hire an expert to do the job they are an expert in, they can do it faster and with better results. Freeing you up to spend time in your zone of genius without the risk of getting sucked into a scroll hole.
Looking to scale back how much social media sucks your time, energy, and effort? Your action step for today is to apply 1 or more of the strategies. Take a break. Scale back the number of platforms you are using. Set time limits for daily platform use. Or hire a professional to help with your social media. Any one of these things can help you re-evaluate and re-calibrate your relationship with social media. And put you on the path to reallocating your time and energy.