— July 1, 2019
There’s an old dad joke that goes, how do you eat an elephant? And the answer is, one bite at a time. But eating an elephant is a big job. And one of the things that we have to deal with in the marketing space is change. Today I want to talk about how to create consistency in the overwhelm of change. In order to manage change, you have to spend time to learn what’s changed and adapt to it, right? And change is constant, especially in the social media world.
Change Is In The Air
“Ch-ch-changes… There’s gonna have to be a different man! Time may change me… But I can’t trace time!” – David Bowie
Social media changes daily. You log into Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, whatever, and there is something different. You may or may not see it, but you might notice it. I’ve seen people say that… They’re saying they’re only seeing three people’s posts and not everybody’s stuff in their news feed. That they can no longer share business posts like they did just (July 03, 2019). What happened? The algorithms are constantly being tweaked.
Now, the reason they do that is because most social media platforms are in the business of advertising, except for LinkedIn. LinkedIn is in the business of jobs. That’s where they make most of their money, 70% of it. Google is in the same business. Now, most people think of Google as a giant search engine, and you post your content and it should show up if somebody searches for it, right? But their algorithms change all the time because they’re in the ads business as well. And if you want your stuff to show up at the top of the page, the fastest way is pay for ads. But the problem is we don’t all have an unlimited budget. Change is constant.
But Stephen Hawking once said, “Intelligence is the ability to adapt to change.” Now, one of the other things that overwhelm us is a shortage of time. I want to give you five basic things that you can look at where you can manage your time and use change to your advantage.
Time Is Short
“Ticking away the moments that make up a dull day. You fritter and waste the hours in an offhand way?” – Pink Floyd
The first thing I want to talk about is that time shortage. We all have the same 168 hours in a week, 24 hours in a day. But how we use them a lot of times escapes us. Have you ever done a time log? A time log is where you sit down and you write down everything that you do and how long it took. Now, if you haven’t done one, I strongly suggest you do it. Get a sense of what’s eating up your time and during this I’m going to talk about some time wasters that you can actually claim some time back on.
“Is it any wonder I’ve got too much time on my hands? It’s ticking away with my sanity!” – Styx
The next thing that you have to do is schedule everything. Make sure that you have your day laid out. What are you going to do first thing in the morning? What are you going to do at noon? What are you going to do at the end of the day? The more scheduled your day is, the better opportunity you have to manage it and to make sure that you don’t get caught in interruption corruption. What’s interruption corruption? I’ll talk about that in a minute.
To have your day planned out, you need to have some kind of to do list. When’s the best time to do a to do list?
How about the day before? I try to do mine as the last thing I do before I shut down. Now you may do it at 5:00, I do it at 9:00. But I always try to create a to do list so I know what my next day is going to be.
When when you create this to do list, here’s a big tip: You want to do the hardest thing first. Also the thing that’s going to make you more money than anything else. Because what you sell is your time, then doing billable stuff first is your best option. It’s always better to hit a home run than a whole bunch of singles that never scores anything.
Mute The Interruption Corruption
“You’re simply irresistible!” – Robert Palmer
The biggest interruption corruption activities that we have to face every single day is email and phone calls. Now, those are time stealers. When somebody emails you, they’re putting their problem on your shoulders. “Hey, why don’t you buy my stuff? I know you haven’t met me, but…” They’re stealing your time because they’re asking you to read their pitch, right? The same thing happens in social media. We’ll talk about that in a minute. But the bottom line is phone calls, whether they’re from a client or not, are time stealers if they are not scheduled.
Here’s what I suggest you do: mute everything. Put your phone on mute, turn it over, make sure you go into your computer and mute everything. Don’t even open your email program until you have the time scheduled to work on your email. That being said, schedule it. Make sure that it’s in your to do list and it’s done at a specific time. Let’s say at 10:00 to 10:20 you’re going to answer emails, and then from 10:20 to 10:45 you return phone calls. If you have extra time leftover because you don’t have a lot of phone calls to return, then use that on something productive and get to that to do list.
“Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy? Caught in a landslide… No escape from reality!” – Queen
The other interruption corruption, which everybody has, is a digital addiction. Yes, social media. It’s so easy to see those notifications pop up and say, “Ooh, somebody just sent me a message. I need to answer that right now.” Do the same thing I suggested with your email and phone. Put everything on Mute. Your phone has a do not disturb feature. Chances are your computer has it too, at least on a Mac, I can turn off notifications. I can actually set up times where I can turn them off and turn them on. And when you schedule social media time, here’s where the change part happens. Schedule some time specifically for learning and exploring and trying to figure out what’s different. The next time you go in you have a better chance of understanding how to maximize your time inside of any social media platforms you’re on.
“I did it… My Way!” Frank Sinatra
The last thing I’m going to suggest is schedule in me time. Me time means standing up and walking away. Go exercise, go run, go do something. Walk your dog. There are apps on my iWatch that tell me to stand up and to breathe. The key thing that you have to do is make sure that you get time to walk away from everything, clear your head and think about what’s next. That me time is so important to making sure you’re more productive.
Let me leave you with some final thoughts. First off, if you haven’t done it, make sure you write down every activity. Start a time log. Do it one day. Do it three days, but see where you’re spending your time. Go listen to episode 96 on MMA, BMA, and CMA. And finally, if you’re going to eat an elephant, plan ahead. Buy a fridge. It’s a lot to eat in one sitting.
I would love to hear your thoughts on this. Comment below and share your thoughts, ideas or questions about showing the concepts presented. Have you had to overcome any of the presented concepts? What worked and what did not live up to expectations? Do you have any ideas or advice you could share?