The Big Question June 2009: Where is Your Time Spent?

by Jennifer Beever

This is a great question posted on ASTD’s Learning Circuits Blog. The original question posed to ASTD’s LC Blogger Tony Karrer was:

“What is your typical day like? How do you do all you do…  …and all the consulting and still remain profitable while having a LIFE?”

In his Big Question blog entry, Tony goes on to ask,

  • How much time do you spend and how did you find time for all the relatively newer things like reading blogs, twitter, social networks, etc.?
  • What are you doing less of today than you were 3-5 years ago?
  • Do you have less of a life with all of these new things?

Just this morning a a colleague emailed me to ask how much time I spend on blogging. He is considering a blog, but (wisely) wants to assess the time requirements so that he doesn’t launch a blog that will fizzle after a while. big question

Where is my time spent?

I now spend more time getting information from people I like and admire and who add value for me than I do going out to the big giant online or offline universe to look for it. Each morning I check my news feeds on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook. My connections are my filter to what’s new and what’s important. I blog a few times a week on marketing issues and link to other blogs and news articles. My blog entries automatically feed to my profiles on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook, so all my connections see what I’m working on. On Twitter, in addition to my blog post titles, I tweet on news items, videos, podcasts, events that I like.

How did I find time for all the relatively newer things like reading blogs, twitter, social networks, etc.?

I used Technorati and Google Blog Search to find blogs that are of interest to me and subscribed to information feeds so the blog entries stream into folders on my desktop. I participated in two or three webinars on social networking, including Hubspot’s Mike Volpe on How to Combine SEO, Blogging, and Social Media for Results. I attended Chris Rollyson’s Executive’s Guide to LinkedIn workshop at the Institute of Management Consultants Confab conference in 2008. (By the way, IMC SoCal is bringing this workshop to Los Angeles on June 27, 2009, and it is now upgraded to the Executive’s Guide to Web 2.0 with information about Facebook and Twitter.) I scan my Twitter newsfeed with particular interest in tweets that have social networking tips.

What are you doing less of today than you were 3-5 years ago?

I watch less TV. I rarely watch the news on TV. I am behind in reading the one newspaper I still get – The Wall Street Journal. I haven’t yet let go of the print version. I still read books. I have less interest in and spend less time on email, which is overwhelming. I’ve unsubscribed from eLetters that colleagues send me by email, most of which I did not opt in or subscribe to in the first place. I have replaced my “old” marketing system of writing one article a month, posting it to my web site, and then pushing out an announcement of the new article via an eNewsletter to my clients and contacts. My new marketing system of blogging and social networking increases my content and reach on the Internet where I am connected to clients and colleagues.

Do you have less of a life with all of these new things?

I would say my life is richer and more connected because of social networking. I spend a lot of hours doing marketing consulting for my clients, and through my social networks I can stay connected more easily to family (especially the teenagers and twenty-somethings), friends and work colleagues. I really get a kick out of the fact that I can more easily stay in touch with former classmates from high school and college. I get information that is pertinent to what I do and what I like faster than before.
From a marketing perspective, I’ve noticed that information that I received via email before appears much richer on the social network newsfeeds, especially Facebook. Where I used to scroll through an eNewsletter in my half pane Outlook email browser, trying to absorb all of the links and tidbits of information and maybe clicking through if something caught my eye, on Facebook I have more of a branded information stream. It’s so much easier to view, digest and click through to one offer presented beautifully on the screen than to many cramped in one email.

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