The new economy is booming.
Successful websites are popping up all over the place with exciting ideas to share – and you want yours to be one of them.
And you know you can have what you want, but it’s taking too long and you’re working way too hard to get it. You barely put your smartphone down – constantly checking your social networks to see who’s shared what and who you can respond to in hopes of making another important connection.
Publishing posts three times a week, commenting on forums, and actively networking is all a part of content marketing. And like a good marketer you do it – often.
After all, it’s part of this new Thank You economy and it’s working for everyone so it has to work for you, right?
Introducing the Newest Addiction
You sleep with your phone by your head at night – waiting for the email that will change your life. You incessantly check and respond to Tweets and Facebook posts.
And the first link in your Favorites Bar is Google Analytics.
Content marketing and it’s repercussions have taken over your life. Your relationships and your health show it.
A study by PLoS One, found that the brains of those diagnosed with a digital addiction (Internet Addiction Disorder – IAD) have disrupted pathways that relate to emotions, decision-making, and self-control.
There’s also evidence that supports that this addiction alters the brain in ways that are parallel to the effects of cocaine on the brain.
Think about that next time you pick up your phone to check on your social networks. Are you an addict?
But all is not lost.
You can be a successful entrepreneur without the social marketing addiction.
Go Cold Turkey
It may not work with smoking, but it can work with your marketing.
And it takes is a conscious decision to take your life back.
Step One: Set Your Plans
Making a plan for your social marketing will make the most of your online time and will ensure that you respond to all the clients or prospects you need to, that you’ll have time to look for new ones, and you’ll not get lost in reading streams of posts that are offering opportunities to be helpful.
Step Two: Schedule Social Marketing Time
Stop jumping in and out of Facebook and Twitter all day because it will probably won’t secure a deposit in your checking account right then and there.
If you normally sleep with your phone by your bed, keep it in another room.
I promise that missing any business email during night hours probably won’t cost you a client.
Don’t worry, you’ll still have time to nurture your business relationships even if you schedule and limit your “marketing” hours.
Finally, trim your email perusal to once or twice a day. Implement the three Read, Take Action, Delete steps. If you can’t resolve it immediately, add it to your GMail tasks list and come back to it when you can take action on it.
Step Three: Get Out and Move
You spend hours researching new techniques, new ways to do business, and how to write better and more. In fact, just about any hour that you’re not at your day (or night) job or asleep, your family and friends will find you pounding away at your keyboard.
And your body and mind suffer for it. Sitting for hours is literally killing you (you’ve see – and ignored – that research). Your shoulders start to hunch from bending over your keyboard, your eyes hurt every night when you finally make yourself go to bed. And your back hurts from the constant pressure of sitting on your tailbone. Then, you get up the next morning and do it again – bad mood and all.
Getting out and moving everyday – forcing yourself away from your laptop will end that painful cycle.
Go for a walk – especially with loved ones. Take time out to play with the kids again (they’ll really thank you for that – because they miss you terribly). Or make a commitment to start or end your day with 15 minutes of exercise. That’s all it takes.
The more you move, the more creative you’ll be and you can make the most of the time that you are sitting down to get it done.
Step Four: Eat Right
Many entrepreneurs can be found noshing anything they can get their hands on because it’s fast and easy. But filling your body with substances that weren’t meant to be digested in the first place (I mean really, have you read the ingredients on most of the stuff on market shelves?) hinders your creativity. A recent study released explains that poor eating and exercise habits increase the risk of productivity loss. And if you’re going to limit your digital marketing time, you’ll need to make sure your increasing your productivity when you’re online.
By planning ahead, you can cook as many as three meals at a time in a matter of a couple of hours. Do this a couple of times a week and you’ll keep your meals stocked so you don’t have to spend time cooking everyday.
Also, make sure you keep your fridge stocked with fresh fruits and veggies, washed and ready. (I’ve also found it helps to keep the fruits that don’t have to be refrigerated out on a pretty bowl or plate.)
The only rule of thumb is: If it’s fresh, eat it. Skip worrying about the details.
Step Five: Close Your Eyes
Yeah, that’s right. You have to sleep. If you’re an entrepreneur with a primary job, you may find yourself skipping sleep because you feel like you can’t afford to waste time sleeping. But, it’s even more important that you rest because you need to be able to think clearly at two jobs.
Everyone’s sleep requirements are different, but studies show most people need a minimum of seven hours of sleep a night – so shoot for that to start with, then adjust as you need to. Keep your schedule consistent for optimum punch to your productivity.
When you set your digital marketing plan in place, stick to your schedule, eat right, exercise, and sleep well, and you’ll likely avoid the difficult effects of Internet Addiction Disorder and maintain a healthy balance that will make you more productive and more successful.
After all, the Thank You economy isn’t about spending hours and hours online just spinning your wheels, it’s about creating a business and a life that allows you to help others make their lives better.
And you can’t do that if you’re wrecking your own.
What tips do you have to avoid IAD?
Tania Dakka, Fit Freelancer, spends her days giving back lost hours to entrepreneurs (like the owners of Happier.co.uk) by creating content for them, so they can take back their lives while she helps move their businesses forward.