no time icon“I have no time” has become so common a complaint (and alibi) that it has lost its validity and credibility, and rightly so. Actually, having the time is not so much the problem, since everyone is given 24 hours in a day, but rather the management of it.

Among the major reasons blamed for the scarcity of time problem is the social media or the online social interactions of people through internet-based applications. Although the internet has brought considerable convenience and progress, especially in the field of communications, it also ushered in some problems. These include lower productivity and disruption of the normal pace of life due to wastage of time. However, as is the case with many people, social media may have encroached into your system so deeply that it has become a part of you. Here are some guidelines on how you can co-exist with this modern technology and still stay productive:

Do not try to eliminate social media totally and abruptly from your life using the cold turkey treatment. This will just complicate, not solve, your problem. With the proliferation and availability of computers 24/7, any attempt to avoid the internet is almost impossible, a herculean struggle indeed. Also, it is unthinkable these days to conduct business without using the internet. To solve this problem, you must first segregate your personal from business engagements in the social media.

In most cases, the time you spend using the social media for your personal use exceeds that of your business usage. Therefore, analyze how much time you spend in social media for your business and your personal purposes.

Once you have established this, set definite rules on how to utilize effectively the time allotted to each type of usage. Defining your reasons for engaging in social media will make managing and limiting your time in front of the computer easier.

1For your personal usage, limit the time you spend to one hour, twice a day. If possible, visiting your accounts should not coincide with your business hours. Set aside one hour after lunch break to visit your account. Then, take another hour to revisit it after your official business hours in the afternoon. Once you have accomplished your personal purpose with the internet, sign off. Fight the temptation to hang around longer than necessary because this leads to time wastage.

As to your time for business concerns, limit your use of the social media within your official business hours. This will also help you maintain an ideal personal/professional balance in your life. Allocate an hour or two early in the day to go over your business-related correspondence, replying and making necessary follow-ups. Using an auto-responder or hiring a virtual assistant will be great for this purpose. You can then attend to the other business concerns for the rest of your official working hours. This gives you at least 6 full hours or more to run your business.

These simple suggestions will help you manage your time with social media most efficiently and effectively. You can make it work for you instead of against you, both personally and professionally.