As the owner of a digital marketing agency, using the world’s most popular apps and technology is in my job description. From Facebook and Instagram to WhatsApp and Snapchat, connecting with friends, family and colleagues around the clock is my job. But recently, it became increasingly hard to separate what was work from personal use.
Want to waste time? There’s an app for that
Creating transformative online marketing programs is one of my favorite things to do, yet I was wasting time on social media apps because of their addictive qualities: pictures, sounds, messages in one neat package in the palm of your hand. It was easy to divert from the smallest problem, even just to take a peek. As a result, my business was not growing. It was clear my focus needed sharpening.
Social media has the unmistakable feel of being busy. You can click around for hours messaging people funny jokes, pictures and internet fodder, without a lot of actual work being done. It took me way too long to figure out how much time I was wasting. The time had come to make a change.
Passionate about online marketing but realizing I needed to do a serious digital detox, here are some ways I was able to make positive changes to maximize time and increase productivity:
Recognize the problem
Working in marketing means having to know the latest apps and use them to authentically, understanding their role and purpose. My use of technology began for work, but quickly devolved into time-consuming personal use. If you find yourself checking your phone relentlessly, and not getting objectives completed, recognize your phone may be a problem. I know a very well known CEO who uses a flip phone! You may keep your current phone, but know some adjustments may need to be made.
Delete problem apps
WhatsApp is a great tool for anyone who works globally, and with family and business around the world sending me communications around the clock, it was particularly hard to avoid. Free calls and texts make it even more addictive. Same goes for social media like Facebook and Instagram, whose splashy platforms dish up pictures and content they think you’ll be interested in (and you almost always are). Deleting the apps removes the temptation to surf aimlessly. You can try to log in once a day from your desktop computer, but be sure to log out after a pre-set time limit (no more than ten minutes). When you need a break from work, and the urge to look at social media arises, try making a list or journaling in your phone’s notepad.
Identify your highest and best skills
Focus on what you do want, rather than what you don’t want. Designing creative advertising programs and solutions using automation is my specialty. While I had a diverse client roster, I realized I was doing work I didn’t enjoy—such as Google ads—for years. I needed to get to my higher and better use, and started declining anything that wasn’t one hundred percent my specialty. The surprising result? More business that I love doing—strategy and digital marketing—came almost immediately!
I came back to my true passion: creating unique, customized online marketing programs with the most cutting edge tools available. If I have to view social media during the workday for a project, I know how to use it. It’s fun and productive in the sense that I’m helping someone reach new audiences and capture new customers. Sometimes it’s a challenge to keep it strictly business, but when I think of my goals, it becomes easy to avoid altogether.
Outside work, I wanted to spend more time with my wife, four children, and extended family. Through reduced technology consumption, I was able to successfully develop new business, spend more time with family and feel less stressed and frenetic overall.
Using these tactics, I was able to reduce my time spent on apps and increase my client base. Today, Dijy has grown a diverse client roster, focusing on the technology, consumer, small business and corporate sectors. We are honored to be the first Yiddish-speaking HubSpot Silver Certified Agency Partner.
Regardless of your industry, business or geographical location, increase productivity and improve focus by removing the extra noise in your life. Spend your time on your own terms, not just when you get a notification.