Happy Labor Day weekend, everyone! I hope you're enjoying yourselves during these final days of summer and looking forward to the fall season.
Today a buddy and I took an unusual scenic path to the Hollywood and Highland mall to purchase my favorite summer scent, Hermes' Eau du Merveilles, and to replace the Nars eyeliners in my car that melted like scoops of ice cream on the sun.
|Hermes perfume ad|
As you might know, the section just west of the Hollywood/Highland shopping center is full of distracting visual stimuli, random crowds and weird creepy deals from street vendors who scream at as many people as they can.
Today was no exception.
Strangers stealing attention and time
Our pedestrian adventure started at CVS where we encountered dude-walking-around-with-a-giant-snake.
|"Dude-with-large-snake", a local street performer (who more like walks around than performs)|
"Dude" – like the two Captain Americas and the underweight Hulk -- is among the plethora of "street performers" on Hollywood Boulevard (see link above) to whom amused tourists pay cash for a smelly photo opportunity to send to friends back home.
Whenever I'm in a crowded street, my brain responds automatically by activating my go-go-gadget pony blinders to keep my senses impervious to the stimuli. In other words, I avoid the pervasive dance between lost meandering tourists and local street performers and become hyper-focused on getting to point B as quickly and safely as possible.
To succeed, one has to learn the skills of a tiny running back who dodges an aggressive Defense by reading the peripheral space accurately and leveraging others as 'screens' to avoid from getting trampled on.
I took note of my brain's deliberate attempt to block noise to prevent from losing even one second of precious life to professional Attention Vampires and decided that this Hollywood experience is not at all different from the social media experience.
Social Media is about creating dialogue and building rapport. However, as active social media users, we open ourselves up to others' frequent one-way messages about product sales and cat pictures with misspelled quotes much like the failed actors and weird people harassing visitors in Hollywood, CA. Because of this and others' behaviors outside of our control, social media can be a shiny objects-flashing time waster that delineates us from our well-intentioned goals to connect with our online communities.
One minute you're creating content as scheduled and the next 120 minutes, you find yourself on Pinterest fixated on images of doodles.
The Game Plan
Below are three ways I've found effective in keeping distractions from interfering with more focused social media goals:
- EMAILS - Discipline yourself to read, write and respond to emails for a set duration at the same time every day (i.e. 30 minutes max dedicated only to emails. Repeat 3x/day). At all other times, turn off any buzz, dings or bells from the email machine so it doesn't disrupt other tasks you've dedicated your time to;
- PRIORITIZE - Make your primary objectives … well, priorities by minimizing the number of apps and technology tools that pop-up or make noises on your phones, laptops or tablets. There are many "productivity tools" out there and using all of them at once will actually make you less productive. Select the best system for you and discipline yourself to become loyal to it.
- SILENCE - Respect your own schedule and the people for whom you're working by committing to the task at hand and being unavailable to take random phone calls until a good stopping point or break. Unless you're expecting clients to place stock trades during market hours, there's a good chance what needs to be communicated can wait 15 minutes.
What are some tips you've found or heard to be effective at eliminating unwanted distractions? Or, perhaps you disagree that social media distractions hinder us from our goals. Either way, we'd love to hear what you have to say.
Thanks for visiting and reading this post. We look forward to reading your comments.
(on behalf of the Pink Ponies)
I like smelling nice =)