Creating a personal presence in social media offers yet another time management challenge

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As I relaxed on my couch at 10pm on a Thursday night, toggling screens on my precariously balanced laptop , I realized that in the space of 10 weeks (about the time of my personal involvement on Facebook and Twitter), there’s a new — and lasting — demand on my time and energy.

Having initially joined the ranks of millions on Facebook as a fun way to keep in touch with friends living across the country, and perhaps catch up with some high-school pals as I neared my (gulp) 30th reunion, I quickly found that colleagues and business acquaintances were “friending” me as well, sharing information both professional and personal that threw an entirely different light on my involvment. Combine that with our recent company initiative to harness the power of social media in our marketing and communication efforts, and viola — a potential new time sinkhole!BusinessWeek logo

Now, as someone who really values time and likes to make sure it’s parcelled out appropriately, that meant finding some control and focus quickly was imperative. And it isn’t just about setting parameters around time — it’s also about understanding objectives and what works for me. This David Allen quote in a recent Business Week article on Time Management in the Age of Social Media struck a chord.

Depending on your personal and professional interests, you can choose from the variety of social media the ones that fit for you. If the productivity best practice is to target your social media very precisely to attain your goals, then the productivity worst practice would be to indiscriminately hook into multiple sources of poorly defined static. To use social media effectively, just be sure that you aren’t putting more effort in than the result you’re getting.

So, while there a quite a few social media sites out there, for now I’m sticking to the handful that are proving productive (and fun!) for me.

To read more of the David Allen article, click here