How To Be Productive

Or How to be productive in spite of Social Media screaming in your eyes?


Lately I have been asking myself this question. Not only that, but I’ve noticed other authors and bloggers have wondered about it too.

Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love interacting with my friends on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, Eeeeeh, Yeah, there are more sites, more social media time gobblers I’m involved in. Shoot! No wonder I feel spread thin and there’s not enough hours in a day to attend to them all. But I digress.

Productiveness and procrastination don’t go hand in hand. (See how they start out the same?) Hey! That’s not fair they both start with pro, which is latin for either ‘contra’ or ‘for’. Although in modern day language pro is mostly known as meaning ‘for’ or ‘in favour of’, a positive preposition rather than one associated with unwanted things. Yet procrastination is something we do not want, nor need, when we have to be productive. So how do we keep up with social media and not fall into the trap of procrastination without even realising it?

Why does it seem time on social media streams by you faster than in real life. Five minutes Facebook equals an hour at the very minimum in real life! There is something definitely dodgy going on there. Anyway, another sidetrack, keep on target Luce!

For me setting a limit  to the time allotted to the Book of Faces to fart around on works. (Actually I set a timer to clock my presence on the various sites.) I don’t put a limit on the time spent in my Tweet team, because that’s ‘work’. No, the time to just interact and do nothing special. Nothing else than read funny posts, borrow great pictures (the funny ones I love most and Grumpy Cat) and just chat with my friends. That is farting around. 🙂 That doesn’t have to be in one stretch, but I do keep track of the time I lose there. 5 Minutes here, 10 there, until I’ve spent an hour. Google+ gets a little more because those are mostly readers, which throws that time into the work hours too.

Addicted to Twitter

Twitter, now that’s a whole different ball game. Because I’ve initially started out just sending out tweets (or twittering as I like to call them) then I discovered retweeting (a very good way of showing people you read their messages and think more people should know about it) and now I also interact with those who take the time to send me direct messages. Easy as pie and fun as well, when you get the hang of being succinct (a feat not easy for me). You have to be able to put an entire message in … a mere 140 characters. Which sounds like a lot, but it really isn’t. I’ve discovered that people don’t mind getting the odd promotional tweet, as long as you remember to also send out general messages, and things of interest. Not just shout to the wind that your book is the best thing since sliced bread and you’ve had yet another great review. I grow tired of reading those. Actually I don’t even read those anymore. Skim over them and disregard. (I do retweet them because those authors swear by them and who am I to tell them to stop with the same old same old) Same goes for messages which are sent to me through Just Unfollow. Generic non-messages which are annoying and inbox cluttering.

Anyway, long story short, for me it works to set a time limit on farting around, or allow myself a day of doing nothing but. As long as you know you’re wasting precious time you can act upon it and do something about it.

What do you do? How do you avoid the trap called Social Media?


14 thoughts on “How To Be Productive

  1. I’ve wondered how so many could be on so much and still accomplish a day’s work. I decided some of them never sleep. I go on for awhile in the a.m., again in the afternoon, and then after 8:00 p.m. I’m just not there all day long. I swear some must keep the online all day long. I couldn’t do that.

  2. Your post couldn’t be more timely for me, Lucy. Twitter devours my time! (Note how I lay the blame at the feet of an inanimate entity. Umm. Who’s REALLY responsible for how my time gets wasted, err, spent?) I haven’t ventured onto Google + yet, but sounds like that’s where a writer ought to be hanging out – getting out there to connect with actual readers! (I have to refrain from adding hash tags as I type – I think I have a problem.) I like both your suggestions. Set a timer. Check. Devote a full day (planned upfront, of course). Also check.

    • Glad my rambling came at a good time for you Trish. 🙂 Now I need to have a word with my twitter and the book of faces to give them an ear full for wasting away yet another hour. Oh, right they could, it was their time. 🙂
      But seriously, try it out and you’ll see the allotted day suddenly seems a lot longer and that hour? Well, that somehow always seems too short.

  3. I like the idea of setting an alarm–spending a set number of minutes with each media. I think it will make me more intentional with how I spend my time on each site. I was uncomfortable about RT until I read your post.

  4. Lucy, taking 3 days to respond to your blog question should give you a hint that I spend way too much time on social media, leaving me very little time for other things.

    If you’re an Indie writer, I don’t think you can avoid social media, as it is the main vehicle for spreading the word. However, I really have to limit myself on social media or I would never get any writing done, and still it takes up way too much of my time.

    I generally check email/twitter/Facebook/blogs first thing in the morning. Having close to 100 messages waiting is daunting, especially when I cleared my messages at 10 pm the night before. Anyway, it takes roughly 2 hours of my time to send responses and such. I then check my social media for a second time around 7:30 pm. Again, I will have close to 100 new messages so there goes another couple hours.

    I feel obligated to send a response and really don’t know how to not let social media take up a big chunk of my time each day. It’s a catch 22 because I want to be sociable, but I need to spend more time writing, as my next book is going so slowly! I wrote my first book in no time. But that was BEFORE I had a Twitter or Facebook account. Now that I do, I feel as if I’m just spinning my wheels and not getting anything accomplished. What’s a writer to do?

    • Rosary, I know exactly how you feel and that has been the trigger for this post. It is catch 22 and I hope to find an author who has found the golden solution. Like you I feel obliged, or rather I enjoy, to respond to all who reach out and send me a message. They have spent time in composing a message to me, wouldn’t it be rude not to respond? And who knows who hides behind the online persona, it could be a future good friend, lost relative, the one who discovers you as the best thing since sliced bread. 🙂
      Besides, it never hurts to be nice.

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