Being in control of your life and having realistic expectations about your day-to-day challenges are the keys to stress management, which is perhaps the most important ingredient to living a happy, healthy and rewarding life. Marilu Henner
…And that’s what Tanya Brown was talking about yesterday on her 30-minute tele-seminar, Mastering Health, Wellness & Success Series, Tanya’s Tools for Change. Tanya, author of, Finding Peace Amid the Chaos: My Escape From Depression and Suicide, and sister of Nicole Brown Simpson, is passionate about helping others living a life free from the chaos which causes stress, which in turn, can lead to depression.
Tanya’s number one tool for managing those stressful day-to-day challenges shouldn’t surprise you. If we all knew how to use this tool more effectively we’d all be living lives with less stress and regrets, and living lives drenched with happiness and more time for ourselves and those close to us. It’s all about time management. It’s all about knowing what you have to do, knowing when you need to do it….and whether or not you need to do it at all.
What I would like to talk about is the second piece of advice Tanya had for us in regards to…
Social Media! Curb your social media time!
What does social media have to do with stress?
Now you’re asking, “What does social media have to do with stress and managing your day-to-day challenges”? Well – I think it has a lot to do with stress.
Tanya understands that many of us are using social media as a marketing tool. She uses social networks to help spread the word to people about overcoming depression. In today’s age of technology, social media is one of the best and quickest ways to connect and educate.
However; we all know that social media venues like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are talking over our lives. And although I’m a social media consultant, I consider most social networks to be a black hole. For many people it IS a time suck – leading to wasted and unproductive hours keeping us away from the things we really need, and want, to do. While you ARE connecting with other people – next door and even around the world – you’re losing the intimacy of actually BEING with a person face-to-face.
In addition, so many business owners know they should be using social media to help them gain more online visibility, but most really don’t know how to use it. The strain of not knowing and understanding, and the additional tension of not being able to keep up with the competition can be very stressful. This, along with the endless hours spent on social networks, can make you feel like you’re in a hamster wheel spinning a 100 miles and hour…but not getting anywhere. Talk about stress!!
Read more about social media related stress.
Let’s look at some facts about social media:
Among American social network users:
- 18-34-year-olds report spending 3.8 hours a day;
- 35-49-year-olds report spending 3 hours per day; and
- 50-64-year-olds report spending 2.4 hours per day.
That’s a lot of time spent using social media, don’t you agree? We all complain about not having enough hours in the day to get through with our tasks and chores, yet we find time to wile away the hours on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Then, at the end of the day we haven’t completed our to-do list. Again – more stress.
More than social media
And it’s not just social media – just the mere fact that our smartphones and tablets have made us a society of technology addicted human drones shows us that we’ve lost control of the truly important things in life.
When was the last time you went out for dinner and you DIDN’T see someone texting or using Facebook on their phone? Instead of talking to the person they were with, they’re obsessed with people who weren’t even there. Hmmmm, think deep, be honest; have you done that? Are you guilty of texting while out for a meal with a friend, your wife, your husband, your kids, your parents? Is that text conversation REALLY more important than the person sitting right in front of you?
Schedule your time online
With all that said, how can you manage your social media time more effectively? Let’s explore some options:
- Monitor your current online schedule. Keep a journal and write down the date, day, and times you’re online for one week. Include your mobile time as well. What were you doing? Was it productive? At the end of the week – review your notes. What have you learned? Where can you cut back? Were you surprised at the results?
- Smartphone withdrawal. Make an effort NOT to use your smartphone or tablet when you’re out with family or friends. Very rarely do I post on Facebook, or other social sites, when I’m out with friends. My gal-pals and I go out for “Girl’s Night Out” pretty regularly. We’ll take one or two selfies, post them on Facebook – then we pack our phones in our purses for the rest of the evening. Sure, we check our phones for emergency texts or phone calls from family, but for the most part, we leave the technology alone and enjoy each other’s company.
- Practice not answering the phone just because it’s ringing. Don’t immediately answer e-mails just because they show up. Disconnect instant messaging. Don’t instantly give people your attention unless it’s absolutely crucial in your business to offer an immediate response. Instead, schedule a time to answer email and return phone calls. (Entrepreneur)
- Use the Dr. Pepper Rule. When it comes to social media – follow the old Dr. Pepper rule… “Have a Pepper at 10, 2, and 4″. You’re probably not old enough to remember that tagline, but using that theory – schedule your social media. Allot yourself a certain amount of time three or four times during the day/night. Know ahead of time what you’re going to do and say. Post status updates, read your Timeline and comment to others, send out those all important birthday greetings (yes, they’re important), and share links and cute cat videos. Oh, and don’t forget to post on your business page, and check out what’s happening in some of the groups you belong to. Once you’ve done that – get offline! Live your life! Do some business! Get out and network!
As a business owner, I know it’s difficult to schedule your social media time. Just because you post something at 10:00am, doesn’t mean the whole world will see it right then and comment on it immediately. My Facebook and Twitter are open in the background as I work. I actually monitor it most of the day – while I’m in my office. I go in for a quick glance, check my notifications, and get out before I’m pulled in for hours. But did you hear me say, “while I’m in my office”? True – 85% of the time, once I leave my office – I leave social media behind. Unless I have a solid reason to use Facebook or the other venues, I do my best to live my life.
- Use Automation. If you’ve got more to say – then use tools like Hootsuite or Buffer to get your message out. Automation is good – if you don’t over use it. Better yet, hire someone to assist you in your social media efforts. Two heads are always better than one anyway.
- Schedule time for yourself. Tanya mentioned this golden nugget on her call. Unless you put yourself into your schedule – you’ll forget that you need time to unwind and get away from the stress. So, go ahead…right now…schedule that mani/pedi – and by all means, leave your smartphone IN your purse, close your eyes, and allow the nail technician to pamper you. And guys – there isn’t a reason on this planet why you shouldn’t treat yourself to a mani/pedi either. Oh, and don’t forget to schedule your weekend (or even mid-week) getaways. Get refreshed and re-energized.
Write things down
I’m sure there are a number of other ways to keep you on track and still have time to market your business online. The key here is to make sure you lead a balanced life, and the best way to do that is to schedule your time. It’s a great habit to get into. And, as Tanya mentioned on the call – it’s best to write down your schedule placing pen to paper rather than using your smartphone or even your Google calendar. Sure, put them there as well, but make sure you write things down. When you write things down, the information gets into your muscle, and you tend to remember things more clearly. I can actually visualize something I’ve written down opposed to something I typed into my iPhone or iPad calendar.
Is social media a stressful piece of your day? How do YOU handle your social media calendar? Share your organizational tips with us, and share how you handle your day-to-day challenges.