5 STEPS TO STOP WASTING TIME ON SOCIAL MEDIA AS AN ONLINE ENTREPRENEUR
This guide is for you if you still want (or need) to keep social media in your life but would like to learn more efficient and effective ways of using it. Learn how you stop wasting time on social media so that you can focus your energy on using it for income-generating activities. Here are the 5 steps you need to stop being a slave to your social media as an online entrepreneur.
Let’s start by getting one thing straight: Social media isn’t all bad.
There is always going to be fake news, hate, and spam on social media but if you know where to look, social media is always going to be brimming with valuable content.
“Valuable content” is content that ticks one or more of the following criteria:
Inspirational or empowering
Not only is social media an invaluable tool for educating, inspiring, and empowering ourselves and others, it allows us to start and advertise our businesses across the globe for FREE.
If you go back to the year 2000, 4 years before the official launch of Facebook, this kind of freedom and opportunity was nothing more than a crazy dream. So, you need to make sure that you are experiencing this freedom and not letting social media enslave you and eat up your precious time.
How can you free yourself from your phone? Let’s jump into the 5 steps you clicked on this post for.
STEP 01: START TRACKING YOUR SCREEN TIME
Note: this is just the “average” person. As an entrepreneur with an online business (or ambitions of starting one), your social media consumption might be higher than the average person!
The average amount of time spent on social apps per user each day:
- 58 minutes on Facebook
- 52 minutes on Instagram
- 40 minutes on YouTube
- 28 minutes on Whatsapp
- 49 minutes on Snapchat
- 14 minutes on Pintrest
If you want to check out your own screen time, try downloading the StayFree Screen Time Tracker and Overuse Reminder app for a minute by minute break down of your own social media habits.
You can also find your daily average time spent on Instagram by going to your profile and opening the “Your Activity” tab.
Action step: Track your normal screen time for 7 days using the app. Don’t try and use social media more or less during this time – you want to find out what your own average consumption is.
STEP 02: IDENTIFY YOUR INTENTIONS
Every time that you open a social media app, ask yourself “Why am I on social media right now?”. If you can’t answer this question then that’s a clear sign that, at this moment, you are wasting time on social media.
“But I have an online business, I need to be on social media”
True! As an online business entrepreneur, it’s essential to show up on social media regularly and consistently to build your personal brand, nurture your community, and market your products and/or services. However, how much time are you spending on non-essential social media consumption?
Non-essential social media use includes (but is not limited to):
- Mindlessly scrolling through your news feed
- Spying on people you don’t like
- Spying on people you have a secret crush on
- Comparing yourself to other people
- Sharing animal videos with friends/family/colleagues
- Jumping into the bottomless meme abyss
Essential social media use to grow your business includes (but not limited to):
- Sharing valuable content regularly and consistently
- Responding to comments and messages from your community and clients
- Searching for and engaging with potential clients or customers
- Marketing your products or offers
- Mindfully consuming content shared by people you think of as your mentors
STEP 03: TURN YOUR INTENTIONS INTO A PLAN OF ACTION
Now we’re clear on what you should and shouldn’t be doing on social media, it’s time to turn your intentions into a tangible plan of action.
Action step: Create your own daily income-generating checklist and note down important deadlines or events you have coming up in the next 3 months.
Example income-generating checklist:
(What are the exact tasks you need to complete on social media each day?)
- Answer all comments and messages promptly
- Post a piece of valuable content (find out what you need to post to attract your dream clients here)
- Consume a piece of your mentors’ content
- Search for and engage with 10 potential clients or customers using the tips I share in a previous post and its accompanying guide
What deadlines are you working towards?
Think about any product or program launches you have coming up or any events that you need to promote in advance. This will influence what your daily social media tasks need to be and how much time you dedicate to them.
STEP 04: PUT YOUR PLAN OF ACTION INTO YOUR CALENDAR
Google Calendar your life.
Action step: Start by creating events for your work commitments (e.g. meetings, calls, and tasks) and commitments in your personal life (e.g. your morning routine, fitness, grocery shopping, and date night).
Action step: Next, allocate a morning time block and an evening time block (perhaps an afternoon time block too) where you sign in and use social media to complete your daily income-generating tasks WITH INTENTION. I would recommend making these time blocks between 15 and 30 minutes long and placing one of these blocks immediately after you publish a piece of content to your page. This allows you to promptly reply to comments and increase engagement on your new post.
When choosing when to schedule your time blocks and how long you’d like them to be, remember that it helps to match them up with when your ideal clients or customers usually online.
- Breakfast time
- Commuting to work
- Lunch/dinner break
- Mid-afternoon slump
- Commuting home after work
- Chilling on the sofa in the evening
These time blocks are going to be distraction-free and fully-focused social media sessions. Sounds kind of counter-intuitive right? Distraction-free social media, what?
This step aims to stop you from signing in to social media over and over again throughout the day and interrupting other tasks that you’re working on. Every time you move your attention from one thing to another, you lose a little extra time to try and find your flow again. Wasting time on social media really adds up! These blocks are your opportunity to scratch that social media itch and complete your income-generating daily checklist with laser focus.
You’ll be surprised at how little time you actually need to spend on social media to grow your business!
STEP 05: SET AND MAINTAIN BOUNDARIES
Choose your “business hours” and stick to them. No business owner should allow their followers, customers, or clients 24/7 access to their attention.
As an online entrepreneur, you don’t want to “friend zone” your followers or potential clients. It sounds strange because social media is supposed to be social, right? Right! But when people think of you as their friend as opposed to a mentor, they’ll be less inclined to buy what you’re selling. Friends expect “mates rates” and “freebies”.
Defining your boundaries is ESSENTIAL to defining your relationship with your followers, customers, and clients.
Maintaining your boundaries means:
- Only replying to messages and comments within your designated time blocks
- Not worrying about what might happen if someone has to wait a couple of hours until your next time block for a reply
- Being able to focus on other tasks in your business with no distractions
- Enjoying your personal time after you “close” for the day with no distractions
- Start tracking your screen time
- Identify your intentions on social media
- Turn your intentions into a plan of action
- Put your plan of action into your calendar
- Set and maintain your boundaries as a business owner
Follow these 5 steps and free yourself from being a slave to your phone! It’s time to stop wasting time on social media, focus your efforts and start USING social media, instead of just being ON it!