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Your Digital Life is FAT: Trim Your 2013 With a Digital Diet

by David · 0 comments

The_Digital_DietSocial media is like being on fast food row. It’s a little bit of this and a little bit of that, until soon you are supersizing and adding fries to every “byte” you take.

More is better – quality be damned. You can’t see the forest because you are hanging from a tree, my friend! (As Adam would tell you, “put down the apple”!)

Starting today, we’re featuring a new Social Caffeine ebook every week. The featured book will be FREE for five days!

This week’s featured Social Caffeine ebook is The Digital Diet, and will help you manage your social media productivity in byte-size portions.

The Digital Diet is FREE until January 11th. Get your copy from Amazon here. Amazon UK users: get your copy here.

After January 11th, the book will go back to its regular price of $2.99.

Just in case you’d like to try before you “buy”, here’s an excerpt:

Where Is Your Time Going?

Digital DietAlmost everyone with a Facebook account has been there. Trawling through friends’ photos, posting witty personal updates, browsing for new friends. You logged on for five minutes for a quick peek before starting your work, but two hours passed in a blink. Facebook addiction is now recognized as a major problem, and can pose a threat to those with addictive personalities.

Twitter can be just as alluring, if not more so. Hour after hour can easily fade to vapor, browsing the constant stream of content, clicking through link after endless link. And Pinterest — don’t get me started. All those gorgeous pictures. Google+, meanwhile, is a smörgåsbord of quality content.

Social media is bursting at the seams and spilling into your life. Perhaps forums are what get to you. You join them to provide value to your target audience but end up browsing through posts for hours, getting sucked into stupid debates by evil, grinning trolls. It’s annoying, but it happens to the best of us.

While you probably aren’t addicted to social media (if you are, please seek professional help), you must get the hours you waste under control. The best way to get a grip is to track exactly how much time you waste on social media. You could do so by printing a time sheet and tracking how you spend each minute of your day for a couple of days. If that works for you, go for it.

Time sheet tracking doesn’t work for me. Half the time I forget to fill out the form. And when I remember, I’m better behaved than usual because I know I’m tracking my time. Getting someone or something to do the tracking for you is a better method.

To use the tools I’ll suggest, you must use the Firefox or Chrome web browsers. If you’re serious about social media, you should be using one of these browsers anyway. Both have a ton of free plugins to streamline how you use social media. They’re fast and are available for Windows, Mac, and Linux. Start using one of them today.

Time Tracking Tools

Use the following tools to track your online time for a few days to see where your time is being wasted. You’ll quickly discover which sites are problems for you. You might be surprised at the results. The add-ons only take a couple of minutes to install, and run in the background of your web browser. They’re unobtrusive but do a sterling job.

Firefox – Firefox users can download Mind the Time. This add-on keeps track of where you spend your time online, giving a precise breakdown of the hours you spend on all your favorite websites.

Chrome – Chrome’s Time Tracker works in much the same way as Mind the Time. It’s not as good-looking as Mind the Time, but it does the job.

So, what’s the problem?

Once you’ve tracked your Internet usage for a few days, you’ll have discovered your problem websites. And you’ll know exactly how much time you’re wasting on social media.

If you’re spending less than 15 minutes a day on each social media site and growing your audience, you’re on track. If you’re on any social media site for more than 15 minutes a day, or if you’re failing to grow an audience, you can trim up your social media shape. This will be an exciting and valuable journey.

One of the most important lessons you’ll learn is that you rarely need to visit Twitter or Facebook to do well at social media. In fact, your time is better spent if you use other social media tools to post updates and track your metrics.

With fewer distractions, you’ll get more done in less time.

Over to You

How do you use social media productively? Which social media sites are your naughty temptations?

The_Digital_Diet

This blog post is an excerpt from the Social Caffeine ebook, The Digital Diet. Download your copy from Amazon here. Amazon UK users: get your copy here.

David is Social Caffeine’s acting editor. He’s British, but we don’t hold that against him.

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