I am beginning to really understand the need for structure in my day. So far this week I have written a grand total of 3000+ words on topics all unrelated to the stories I should have been working on. I have two new stories coming out of that, but I should be finishing the three I currently hop between. On top of that, I am attempting to do my best with this whole social networking thing. I like writing blog pieces and word press articles, coming up with ‘witty’ Tweets takes longer than a whole blog article and I still just don’t get Pinterest. Tumblr is a time sink of ‘research’, which boils down to looking through hundreds, if not thousands of other people’s posts and pictures. Facebook and Google+ are fed via previously mentioned social platforms and should consider themselves lucky at that.
Add in waking up, chores, getting the kids out, getting me ready, getting the kids back, food, work, other work, and the day is over. I need to think this through a little better.
It is very easy to get lost in a sea of social applications and the people you find there. It’s clear I need to structure my day so that I don’t lose myself in the duty side of things before getting any work done. I need to do things more efficiently.
Structure is key. I don’t have regular hours for anything I do except when I get the kids to and from school. That’s it. Since I am clearly the type of person who zooms off at a tangent the moment anything interesting comes along, I need to give myself a rigid timetable. And stick to it. One hour of social networking really ought to be enough.
What I can do to make things easier is automate some of it. First step is delegating some of the work to automated tasks. WordPress allows this via the Publicize widgits. Tumblr, Twitter, Facebook and Google+ also allow it. Be careful here though. Each platform presents itself slightly differently and you need to experiment a little to find out which presentation format you prefer. My preference sends a Worpress blog post to Tumblr and Google+. Tumblr sends it onto Twitter. Twitter sends it to my Facebook. All of these can be toggled off and on as desired for individual posts too.
I still write posts for each platform when I can, but it’s good to know that I can get my work out there quickly and efficiently. Some people say this lacks a certain personal feel, while I think it greatly extends the use of some of the platforms as well as making it easier on me. For example, this is a great way of getting around the 140 character limit on twitter as it adds a source URL to longer messages. Likewise, pictures added in one post are often automatically added as thumbnails or icons to subsequent cross platform postings which also improves their visibility.
Automating the task of posting is another superb efficiency and one that allows you to reach people in other timezones. While I am stuck in the Eurozone, I miss half the world if I am not up all through the night. Tumblr allows queuing of posts, WordPress allows timed publishing of posts, and there are some great Twtter apps (Hootsuite for example) out there to get your posts out at all hours.
Some simple tasks and practices for improving the efficiency of your social networking. Now I just have to do them too.