We all know how distracting social media can be. Sometimes I’ll sit down to work on a chapter of my book, turn to Twitter or Facebook or my blog just for a minute, and when I finally look up, it’s two hours later.
It’s not that I’m wasting time on these networks. I’m not playing Farmville or poking friends or throwing pigs at tweeps (if only that were possible). There’s simply so much information out there that I want to click on and read and share. So many interesting people to talk to. So much to learn.
I’ve been pretty good at balancing writing and social media for the last couple of years. I multitask efficiently and use tools like Hootsuite and Google Reader to make my online time as productive as possible.
But ever since I made social media my job, balancing has become a problem. I’m spending more and more time on social networks, and less time writing. This makes sense in some ways, since helping small businesses with social media is how I’m now making money. I’m starting a business. Of course it’s filling more of my time.
But I’ve been neglecting my revisions, and those are important to me, too. A big part of the reason why I think it’s a good idea to work for myself is because it gives me the flexibility and the time to write. I can build up Socialexis and work on my book. Allegedly.
Here’s my problem. With social media, work is never done. There’s always more I can do. Know how you always want to push out one last tweet or connect with one more interesting person on She Writes? How you’re sure you can improve your online community and influence if you just put in one more hour? I’m now feeling that pressure not only for my personal networks, but also for my clients’ accounts. I want to do the best job I can for each client, and I’m always thinking of one more person to follow or a cool way to reach out on Facebook or a new networking tool we should use.
I’ve been putting in that extra effort because I want my clients and my business to succeed. And it’s working! I’m so excited about that. But at some point, I need to draw the line. Because when I don’t, guess what doesn’t get done? My book.
After several weeks of minimal progress on revisions, I’m about to try a different approach. This week, rather than multitasking all day, I’ll dedicate the mornings to Socialexis. By 1 p.m., I’ll be at the (distraction-free) library, revising my book. And during those afternoon hours, I will not look at my e-mail or blog or any client’s Facebook page or Twitter feed. I will devote the afternoon to revising.
I’ll let you know at the end of the week how it went. (Because that will keep me from cheating.)
I’d love to hear how you all deal with this. How do you balance writing with social media or other responsibilities? Do you set aside blocks of time for writing? Or does multitasking work better for you? Got any tips to share with the rest of us?