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How to find the time to follow your heart

How to find the time to follow your heart

Cooper and I were chatting this morning about how to make time for personal endeavours; that is, how do you find the time to follow your heart? You see, I’m a little more adept at juggling a lot of things because I’ve been forced into being organised through running my own business, and doing absolutely everything as a sole trader. While I am working full time now in a gig I love, I haven’t lost the habit of always ‘doing something’ (although, I think that’s a personality type too – perhaps you relate!). Plus, I’ve got stories to share and messages to promote – hence TLL.

I know plenty of people who want to design a slightly different life for themselves, or pursue other passions entirely aside from their current work situation. But it’s really challenging, with family commitments, work, life and that irritating nemesis, tiredness!

The conversation got me thinking about what advice I’d give to Cooper, or anyone else struggling with an already packed program when it comes to work/life balance. I’ve learned a thing or two on my own, but also through observing others – including super busy mums – who have successfully created a life and/or business they love.

Have a listen…

Key take-aways

How to find the time to follow your heart:

  • Set time aside each morning – just 20 minutes is all you need. If that means you have to get up early (short-term pain for long-term gain), then do it. Start now.
  • I live by my mornings now, and strongly suggest you spend the first 5 to 10 minutes of yours in contemplation about the day to come, and how great it’s going to be.
  • Spend another 10 minutes or so in inspired action towards your ultimate goal. Write/blog/mind-map/watch a motivating YouTube clip. Start the day off on a positive note.
  • Keep a notebook (or equivalence) with you to jot down goals, ideas, dreams, plans, gratitude lists and things you want – do this throughout the day! Not only will this exercise attract better things into your world, it’ll cheer you up in the process.
  • Do one small thing towards your goal/dream/big idea every day. No action is too small.
  • Keep an eye out for opportunities to learn, in the form of webinars and free online activities that will only take up an hour or so of your time each week. Subscribe to your favourite service-providers or coaches’ email alerts.
  • Utilise YouTube – set up your very own motivation playlist, and save clips in there that you can access at any given time, day or night. Clips might include TED Talks, motivational monologues, 10 minute mindfulness meditations, videos by business or spiritual coaches… Whatever gets you going.
  • Reflect before sleep, on the day that’s been. Be proud of your actions and set an intention to keep moving forward tomorrow.

 

By Sarah Blinco │ Feature image, Inspiyr.com, Flickr creative commons
Social media time management for small business

Social media time management for small business

I was at a client meeting today with two lovely local business-people. We were discussing social media time-management, and they sprouted some figures that came out of a recent seminar that had been hosted in our region (facilitated by a national / international (?) organisation); these figures indicated that users of social media (for business) should spend at least an hour (if not more) per day managing social media. They had broken down time-frames (ten to twenty minutes) for each type of task including ‘updating’, ‘content management’, ‘engaging’, ‘commenting or liking’, ‘sharing’ and so on. All of these tasks I completely agree with, but I totally disagree with insisting minimum one hour per day is spent on social media.

Who has the time?

Most business-owners / managers within small to medium-sized businesses are flat-out getting all the other ‘basics’ done, let alone dealing with unforeseen dramas, issues, staff, customers and so on. Expecting that an hour or more is spent on social media is ludicrous, no matter how integral this type of marketing might be.

Similarly, what managers / owners would be pleased with employees spending that much time on social media? How can they be assured half of this time isn’t spent on ‘personal’ sites?

I agree entirely that you can easily spend one hour (and many more) on social media marketing and content management, BUT I feel this amount of time is reserved for employees working in larger companies who are specifically assigned the role of ‘social media manager’ or ‘facilitator’. This is not a reasonable suggestion for most employers / employees in small to medium-sized businesses, particularly in regional or rural areas where there are even fewer people on the ground to facilitate all required tasks on any given day. Additionally, my view has been shared and advocated at all social media presentations I’ve attended (for learning purposes) over the past two years.

Solution? 

My rule of thumb (albeit very simplified for the sake of keeping this post succinct) – which may not work for everyone, but certainly works for me and the (time-poor) clients I assist/train – is as follows:

1. Content planning – half to one hour each week, perhaps on a Sunday afternoon, where you consider what’s coming up across the week. Is there anything nationally or internationally that you can post around (eg. Easter, Valentine’s Day, Red Nose Day, a local city festival and so on); and what is coming up for the business (special sales, announcements, news etc.)? Most social strategists would suggest businesses plan content in advance. This could be annually, bi-annually, quarterly, fortnightly or weekly. Think of it like a ‘marketing plan’ – these are considered in advance and then implemented. A social media content plan works in a similar fashion. The best part about this is that you’re not going to sit down at the computer one day and think, “oh great, WHAT on Earth am I going to post about today?” With a plan that’s a week or more in advance, you’ve always got ‘something’ to post about.

2. Then on weekdays, for the time-poor and busy owner / manager / entrepreneur / employee who has many other tasks to complete in a day, a ‘social sweep’ for 10 to 15 minutes – morning, and afternoon if possible – should be carried out. In this time you would update (using ‘planned’ content as well as anything topical or new that’s come across your desk or into the inbox), ‘like’, ‘share’, ‘engage’, follow and so on, across your chosen social streams.

This type of routine covers all the necessary bases to keep your content regular and your business engaged with the community and fans. I’d be really interested to know what other social media strategists advise for clients who manage their own social media streams?

For more information on content and social media services, visit Sugoi Media and on the subject of social media, why not find us on FACEBOOK.