In an online world filled with Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Friendfeed, Foursquare, Gowalla, Skype, gChat, Tumblr, Flickr, YouTube, and the millions of Blogs/Foums…at what point are you wasting your time???

I often find these days forcing myself to shut down my chat application(s) and only check Facebook/Twitter at certain times of the day. What about you? Are you finding yourself getting distracted with all of the mainstream and new social networks that pop up everyday?

I think this is only going to be a larger distraction as social media continues to grow! There are going to be more and more social media outlets that will continue to be developed, which equals more distractions in our daily lives. So you really need to stop and think, is this prohibiting myself from being able to effectively do my job and/or accomplish my goals?

Is Social Media Making You Money?

Now I totally understand the place for social media and that social media can indirectly impact your bottom line, but when is social media actually hurting your ability to turn your efforts into dollars? At some point you need to focus on things that will actually make you money and the following things don’t necessarily lead to more sales….

  • Back and forth @replies on Twitter
  • Instant messaging chats throughout the day
  • Facebook updates and comments
  • Daily engagement in forums
  • Blog commenting
  • Time writing guest blog posts
  • Checking your 1000’s of unread RSS posts

Of course these things can lead to more credibility, inbound links, and traffic to your website….but is that enough to bring in revenue?  For some people it may be.  However for others it may be that you are just wasting hours upon hours of time, engaging with others just like you…and not necessarily your target CUSTOMER.

Buckle Down and Start Taking Action

This is probably one of the hardest things to do;  being able to balance social media/engagement with focusing on things that directly impact your bottom line.

So if you are a social media addict or feel that you are not achieving success, you may want to follow this simple, yet effective process for shifting some of your day from random social media engagement, to actually taking action on projects that are going to make you money.

  1. Write down your goals: Like any strategy, everything starts and ends with what your goals are.  Write down what your goals are…is it building a product? gaining x number of clients for a service you offer?  building a training area to cut down on customer service? etc…
  2. Outline What It Takes: Now take each of your goals and figure out what it will take to accomplish your goals.  Write down time, resources, and anything else you need to be successful.
  3. Plan Each Day: This is where you can slip up.  It’s easy to write down your goals and what it takes to accomplish them, but this is the step that really determines your success.  You need to have a plan of attack and map out how you are going to TAKE ACTION!
  4. Evaluate Your Progress: Have checkups on where you are in your strategy, each day, week, month.    This can be a good chance to take a birds eye view of how you are progressing and if anything needs to be changed/tweaked.  Evaluate if your other activities online (ie: social media, email) are slowly you down from accomplishing your goals.

I am not saying to stop engaging in social media, far from it.  But I see lots of people, my self included, who get caught up in all of the conversations and social media hype that takes place online and it slows down their full potential and accomplishing their goals.  Part of it is having self control and also having a plan in place that keeps your focused on what makes you money.

Time to Admit Your Addictions…

Ok guys, it’s time for everyone to admit what eats up their time and stops them from accomplish ALL of those great ideas they have from actually being created.  What stops you from accomplishing your goals???