When I began using social media, I quickly realized that being an active participant was going to take time. With a full-time job, a growing young family, and other pressures on my time, I knew that I was going to have to be uber-organized to be successful with my blog, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Google+.
The key to my ability to make media directly stems from being organized which includes my social media system. An added benefit of being organized is that it helps clear my mind – which in term helps me be more creative.
Getting Things Done
Two years ago I read the book Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity by David Allen and became a disciple of Getting Things Done (GTD). If you haven’t read this book or aren’t familiar with GTD, I highly recommend that you check it out. The GTD
method rests on the principle that a person needs to move tasks out of the mind by recording them externally. That way, the mind is freed from the job of remembering everything that needs to be done, and can concentrate on actually performing those tasks. (via Wikipedia)
I adopted this system, and have been successful using it for over two years now, because of two reasons: 1. the GTD method is easy to understand, implement, and maintain; and 2. I’ve found electronic tools that have allowed me to implement the GTD method in conjunction with my electronic life. Simply put, the GTD method serves as the basis for allowing me to carve out time to make media.
This is a chicken or the egg causality dilemma for me: as I create more media, my media consumption has changed, or my media consumption has changed; hence I’m able to create more media. I don’t know which came first but what I can tell you is that I watch much less TV, read more than I ever have in my life, and listen to industry-specific podcasts.
I rarely watch TV anymore and when I do it is usually a sporting event, a movie, or Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations. I just don’t find sitting mindlessly in front of the TV exciting anymore. Rather than watch TV, I take time with my family or read. Speaking of reading, I read all the time. Whether it’s a book, a blog, or the newspaper, not only do I find enjoyment in reading – I also find blog topics and ideas.
Finally, I have become a fan of podcasts. In my never-ending quest to find time to exercise, which I still don’t often do enough anymore, I’ve started to walk and listen to podcasts at the same time. I feel like I’m killing two birds with one stone. There are many great podcasts out there, but I would recommend starting with the Rainmaker.FM podcast network which is actually made up of a number of different shows.
It’s not what you think; my SMS is my social media system. For you to be as productive and as creative as you can be, you’ll need to determine your SMS. My personal system is still evolving, and I tweak it constantly. What do I mean by an SMS? You’ll need to answer some basic questions to determine your SMS including:
- How many social media channels do you feel you can manage and participate in fully?
- What are you’re goals for each channel?
- What will be your publishing schedule for each channel?
- What information will you share on each channel?
- What audience is each channel geared toward?
- Will there be any overlap with your social media channels?
- Can you re-imagine content between channels?
My advice, when determining your own SMS, is to start small to keep things manageable and enjoyable. I will write soon outlining the details of my own SMS.
By utilizing the GTD method, changing my media consumption, and creating my own social media system, I’ve been able to schedule time, generate ideas, and work background from my goals, to create more than media than I ever have in my life – and I feel like I’m just getting started.
I would love to hear your questions about my ideas or things that you have implemented in your own life that has allowed you to make media.