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Working Productively With Social Media - 8 Tips: Does the Internet Make Inefficient?

The promises of information technology have always been big: They should do the work for us or at least make it easier. A little guide to emancipated work.

How digital helpers are robbing us of time

Computers and software are supposed to help us - so we shouldn't get away from smartphones and eMaillet s servants. But after having updated my own blog for several days with a new one and completely revised it, I realized again how much time the internet and social media can eat up. There are many reasons: Because the technology doesn't work that way after all - especially in connection with Facebook I notice that again and again! Because the variety of possibilities on the net is almost infinite that it takes an infinite amount of time to find the right one.

Finding out which of the little software helpers nestle into your own workflow as seamlessly as possible and thus make our work easier is like looking for a needle in a prickly haystack. Or the other way around, you lose time precisely because it works and you are so enthusiastic about your own successes that you always want more - at least that's how I felt with my blog.

From stick to stick

Johnny Häusler has that too on the Spreeblick very aptly described:

I started researching a great topic on Google. After four hours I'm at the third link, through which I have found an expert with whom I want to arrange a telephone interview, but find his eMail-Address on the page not, in his list of links he refers to a completely crazy forum, madness, got the other authors immediately gemailt, we decide a whole ArticleSeries, that provides material for three weeks! But first I have to continue typing the other article that I started. Where did I save it? I should create a to-do list, as you can do great things on the computer, with a reminder function. It would be cool if you always had a list like this with you on the go, shouldn't be a problem with an iPhone. In fact: the AppStore shows 15 different list programs, test them now. Ok ... this one cannot be synchronized with the desktop computer, but that one, you only have to register briefly on the associated website, no problem, already done. Just wait for the confirmation email. Meanwhile, I'll test another list, which is also much nicer. Yeah, it's fun to work! I'll use it from now on ... oh crap, it can't be synchronized again.

The dilemma of infinite choice

The dilemma with the many tools is simple: Unfortunately, companies want to earn money with their software: This is why they often provide free beta or basic versions for free testing. However, they either do not (yet) have the full range of functions or simply have errors that cost a lot of time and nerves. When the user has happily got used to the functionality of the program, the scope suddenly becomes chargeable. This is what happened with Hoot Suite, a client for managing and sending Twitter and other social media applications. As a user you either have to pay or look for an alternative.

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Or the company is broke or sold. This is what happened at Delicious, the pioneer of social bookmarking applications. In 2005, Yahoo acquired Delicious. When Yahoo announced in December 2010 that it would sell Delicious or even close it down if necessary, an outcry went through the social networks that shows how dependent users are on their familiar, but mostly free, tools.

Meanwhile, Delicious is operated by Chad Hurley and Steve Chen, who ironically sold their also very successful YouTube to Google in 2006. The roulette continues to spin. No wonder, then, that almost the entire hall reports itself at Internet conferences when the question is whether one's own productivity suffers from the constant pressure to communicate on the Internet.

eMail - dead or alive?

One tool that has been declared dead for some time by die-hard social media users is this eMail. And actually, since I got to know the shortness of 140-character messages on Twitter, I think so too eMails increasingly annoying. However, a study by Nielsen Research shows: The longer people stay on social networks, the more time they spend with it eMail-Management. Reason: If you are in a social network like Facebook registers, often receives so-called friend requests, social media mails, event invitations, etc. In addition, social media increases one's own circle of acquaintances, which means that there is more communication overall. And those who blog, very often get the comments on their texts via eMail. The eMail, which many had long ago labeled as an antiquated communication method, is still very much alive and will probably remain so for a while.

But there are also people who can no longer live without social media. And not because they became addicted, but because social media tools have become an integral part of their professional or private communication. But many people also receive private birthday invitations, parties or meetings with friends, for example via Facebook- organized invitations. Because it's faster and more practical than constantly eMailsend s back and forth. Sad side effect: If you don't get to Facebook is simply not aware of it.

8 tips for working efficiently with social media

With technical tools, for example eMailmanage s intelligently. If I don't use such services myself, I like the idea of ​​not just chopping out messages, but rather “inquiring” beforehand whether the recipient is right now. Certainly a step in the right direction. One could certainly list many other tools - I'm more interested in a general overview: How do we work efficiently with social media? 8 tips at a glance!

  1. eMails and personal messages: are still the biggest time wasters. Anyone who is constantly reading and answering, especially on the move, not only stresses themselves, but also repeatedly interrupts their concentration. What helps: eMailCheck only once or twice a day. Or a no-eMail- Introduce Day. And: Who doesn't eMails would like to have it on the mobile phone, should do without a smartphone.
  2. Turn off notifications:: It is constantly flashing somewhere on the computer, the smartphone beeps for everyone eMail-Entrance. Annoying! Turn everything off. Above all, the notification functions in social networks such as Xing or Facebook, which is the default for every unimportant activity of your friends eMailsend s.
  3. Use idle times:: Smartphones may be annoying due to their constant availability, but to use idle times, e.g. in the waiting room, to quickly read the latest tweets or at least eMails they are worth their weight in gold.
  4. Forget the Protestant work ethic:: People always want to get everything ready, but that just doesn't work on social media. Some things also have to remain uncommented and unanswered.
  5. Schedule breaks:. Absolutely. If you are constantly under constant stress, you will not get anything on the line.
  6. Grasp your communication: with as few online services and software as possible together, that cover various social media accounts - e.g. with such as Hootsuit or TweetDeck.
  7. Keep it simple:: Use software and web services that send as few notifications as possible and are easy to use. Clarity takes precedence over coolness.
  8. To be selfish:: If other users annoy you with unimportant information, messages, emails, etc., simply ban them from your timeline or friends list. It's not always nice, but sometimes there is no other way.

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