That being said, I’m one of the biggest offenders of succumbing to BSO (Bright Shiny Objects) syndrome. I’m always chasing down rabbit holes, all in the name of research. I do learn a lot of good stuff, but it sometimes results in wasted time and missed deadlines. Not good.
So, here are some of my strategies for staying on track:
I allow myself some “play time” to catch up with friends and family members on Facebook, twitter and the like. Usually I combine this with watching tv or on my lunch hour. Last week I had a long, fun chat with a high school friend and caught up with my cousin’s wife on Facebook.
During work hours I have a post-it of objectives next to my monitor that has a cryptic list of marketing objectives. As a consultant to self-published authors, my primary objective is to establish my expertise in online marketing and self publishing. So most of the comments I make are related to those topics. I automatically send a tweet to Twitter and post to my wall on Facebook when I update my blog. My blog is also on my LinkedIn profile. I comment on my friends’ status, and pass on articles that I find interesting. I also have Google Alerts relating to marketing and publishing that gives me plenty to comment on and write about.
Does this take hours every day? No, for the most part I spend about half an hour to an hour a day on social networking sites and checking the feeds for my alerts in Google Reader. Can it be done is less? Absolutely. I spend more time because I enjoy it! And, it’s my business to spend time doing this.