Making time

Amber Naslund writes a good post about how important it is to make time to experiment with social media and to explore what it can do for you. It’s very easy, she points out, to say that we don’t have the time, but “Here’s what you have to face down. You make time for what matters.”

Spot on.

The comments are just as interesting as the post, as people come up with reasons why it’s not just a matter of making time. People are overloaded, too busy, scared to step out of their comfort zone, the skill set required is hard to acquire. It’s easy to come up with excuses why some people won’t take the time to learn social media, but they are just that: excuses.

Here’s the thing: We waste loads of time simply checking our email inboxes. What about if you reduced your time in email and gave that time to social media instead? What about if you went to one less meeting each week? What if you used your phone to check up on Twitter and blogs and such, and used some of that dead time when you’re waiting for other things to happen?

It’s actually very easy to learn about social media. A quick search on Google gives an awful lot of stuff to start reading, even before one starts dipping their toes in the tools themselves. How much can someone learn just by reading round for 10 minutes a day?

“I haven’t had time” is an excuse we all use, but it’s not a reason.

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I think the commenters have a point - it's not just about social media, it's about the plethora of technologies that are around us now. I tend to do my major e-mail work during my commute to and from work, leaving more time around my working day to monitor social media. Just adding in social media seems like a lot of work. Making it part of a structural shift in your working patterns is more productive.
I think the key word you used there was "seem". Anyone can find 10 mins a day to learn about anything they want, and if you're in business then social media is a very good thing to learn about. So when people say they don't have time, what they really mean is that it's not a high enough priority for them to make time. Yes, there are a lot of technologies out there. And yes, there's a lot to learn. But you pick your battles and you start with the thing that looks most promising to you right now. You may change your mind, but starting somewhere is better than never starting at all. This reminds me a bit of learning languages. Learning Welsh, as a random example, is a long term task. 10 mins day will get you further faster than 70 minutes in one go on the weekend. Same with social media. It's not a quick win, but the rewards can be great if you persevere. And, as you rightly point out, if you can embed it in your day so that it becomes second nature, so much the better.