Has your boss moved your desk a bit closer to his office?
Yeah, he knows you are Facebooking on the job. However, don’t let him tell IT to shut it down just yet. You can use these networks as a means to make your work life just a bit better.
Below you’ll find six ways to use social networks to increase your productivity in some unlikely ways.
1. Remind Yourself To Get Back On Track
Think of this productivity tip as a reverse Pavlov’s dog experiment that is targeted at avoiding the social network black hole.
Grab a small notepad and a pen, and keep it by your workstation at all times. Every single time you hop on Facebook, Twitter, or Google+, make a tally mark. Do one set of tallies for every day. Over time, you’re going to notice these marks growing in number, and more than likely, this is going to be a little surprising for you.
However, the more often you make yourself jot down a tally note, the more often you are going to realize that you are on social media. Rather than just blindly scrolling your feeds, you’ll be more self-aware. Because of this, chances are it will be a bit easier to jump off whatever site you’re currently using and stop slacking.
2. Take Everything In Moderation
Another option for social media usage is to take it in moderation. You don’t have to be checking Facebook constantly — it’s not a necessity.
Consider your work/fun life to be more of a four-course meal rather than a diet. You’ll spend much more time eating the steak (work) than munching on some ice cream for dessert (leisure). However, this still takes place at the same table.
Just like a meal and dessert, work and leisure have merged. No longer will you work all day and then go home for rest and fun. Instead, your day may consist of a customer service phone call one hour and then a round of Candy Crush the next. With that said, work a lot, and then play a little. Reward yourself when applicable, and just make sure you aren’t playing too much!
If you allow yourself those little rewards every now and then, you might be surprised to find that your overall productivity has actually increased.
3. Collaborate With Others
Social media is our security blanket! We cling to it for whatever reason, and often, it prevents us from getting real work done. However, it’s possible to use social media as a way to collaborate with your team.
If you’re in an office (or for students, a class), move updates and memos to a Facebook group, and if acceptable, shift discussions to messages. Google+ can offer similar discussion methods, but unfortunately, it seems as though this would not be as effective for Twitter (unless you feel like using direct messages on a near constant basis). This may be viewed as a less professional way of team communication, but if it’s effective for you, then why worry?
We already stated that work and leisure have merged. This is just another way to put everything in one place, allowing you to be more productive during your day.
4. Communicate Better With Clients
Social media doesn’t mean you have to interact only with your coworkers and other professionals. If you have clients and customers, then you can use social media as a way to connect with them as well.
Open your Facebook walls and Twitter accounts to your client and customer base so that they can also connect with you in a familiar environment. Customer service can be handled here, allowing for you to both help those you are working for as well as have a more productive experience using social media.
With that in mind, remember that mixing your personal and professional accounts is not recommended. You may want to open a Page for your business or use different networks for different purposes.
5. Make Friends With Your Field
One way to stay productive is by surrounding yourself with others who are productive. Pay attention to those who are in your field, and make friends with them via social media! Chances are that they will be updating your feed with work-related articles and information on their workday.
These people are both your support and your competition, and by seeing the fruits of their labor (say, if they are freelancers or in some other professional field), this can serve as a motivator for you to get back on your progress. Furthermore, you can work with them by having discussions about tips and tricks for your trade.
Another way to do this is by joining communities or following individuals who are in your profession. Facebook has plenty of work-related Pages and groups while Google+ and Twitter offer loads of professionals to follow. Make them your motivators!
6. Publish Your Progress
You know those weight-loss posts that your friends are constantly updating you with? For some, it’s a nuisance. For others, it’s another route to support their friends.
You don’t have to share anything about your weight, but you can publish pictures and updates about your work-related accomplishments! Generate some discussion about what you have going on. By publishing evidence of your own work, people can keep you accountable for what you are doing. Don’t post too much, though. You may get on some of your friends’ nerves, and you may end up discouraging yourself by not meeting your goals. Use your judgment — only you know how much is too much.
Want more? There’s plenty! Read about 5 ways to use Google+ for productivity, 5 more ways to use social media for work, and these 7 reasons why Facebook should not be blocked at work. As you can tell, it’s quite possible to use social media as a means to keep things productive.
On the other hand, you may disagree with the idea of using social media for productivity. We’d love to get your feedback.
What other ways do you use social networks as a way to keep chugging along? Do you find these networks to be more of a distraction than a convenience?