I’ve had a few friends over the last couple weeks who have pledged to stay off social media for a day or longer. While I applaud their restraint, I’m not sure I understand the motivation behind this extreme social media diet. For me, Facebook and Twitter simply fill in the gaps of a day rather than being a thief of my valuable time.
In all fairness, I will admit that I’m completely in love with Instagram and that it’s my go-to whenever I’m in need of a quick social media fix. But despite my penchant for grainy filters and pictures of my friends’ latest meals, I’m not at the point of needing a social media intervention because it hasn’t cut into my productivity at work. This isn’t the case for my friends though; I often see them struggling to get anything done because they’re too busy perusing posts or else creating status updates of their own. For these addicts, breaking up with social media—however temporary the split—is a necessity and the practice becomes a zero-sum game: Either stay off all social media sites completely, or else get nothing accomplished during the workday.
Are you your biggest hindrance? If so, it might be time for you to take a breather. I’m not saying you should abandon social media altogether; it’s still an important way to target potential clients in your market and increase awareness of your personal brand. What I’m advocating for instead is to give yourself the required space away from the “like” button to re-think your social media strategy. Instead of seeing social media as a hindrance, focus on getting more purposeful with the content you share so that you can view it as a benefit. Especially if social media is one of the major ways you connect with clients, make sure all information coming from your accounts is useful and interesting. By making social media more of a mindful business practice and less of a productivity inhibitor, you won’t be wasting time on the sites because really, you’ll be working.
So I ask: Is it time for you to have a social media intervention and change your ways?
Melissa Krchnak is the team leader for Keller Williams in Pikesville, MD. Connect with her on Twitter @mkrchnak.