How to avoid social media burnout.

If you’ve ever felt like you’re spending too much time on social media, or it’s a waste of time, you’re not alone. While social media is a powerful communication tool and can be a vital part of your daily routine, it’s easy to fall into the trap of spending too much time at it. So here are some rules to set for your social media activity to help you avoid that burned out feeling.

Set goals.
Seriously. If you think social media is just a fun way to pass time, then you’re bound to get caught up in it to the point where you end up wasting valuable time. Even if you’re using it for something other then work, or school setting goals for your social media activity is important because it gives you balance. It helps to write your goals somewhere and keep them visible to remind you of what they are. Keeping your goals fresh in your mind will help you stay focused and make better use of your time.

Schedule your social media time.
Scheduling time for your social media activity, as if you were meeting with a client, makes it a dedicated task and sets clear limits on how much time you spend at it. Don’t react too quickly to this recommendation. I’m fully aware of rules of engagement when it comes to social media and I understand how important it is to be involved with your network on a regular basis. That said, this article is focusing on ways to avoid social media burnout and one of the best ways to achieve that is to limit the amount of time you spend at it. By scheduling your social media time, as if it were a client meeting does a couple of things. Gives you a greater respect for your online networks (absence makes the heart grow fonder), effectively eliminates all other distractions, which allows you greater focus for the task at hand.

Prioritize your time between social networks.
Dividing your time, according to level of importance, between the different social media networks you belong to allows you to spend quality time where it will best serve your goals. First determine which social networks are the most active and most productive for you and focus the bulk of your time on the one or two which yields the highest return for your time. If you must have more then a few social media networks, this is a no-brainer to avoiding social media burnout. If Twitter and Facebook are your most active networks, obviously it’s prudent to commit the majority of your scheduled time to those two. Any leftover time can be shared amongst the remaining networks.

Scale back on the number of networks you’re involved with.
There are easily a dozen social media networks that I can name off the top of my head, and all of them have their own specific benefits, but does that really mean you or I need to be involved in every one of them? Absolutely not. This is where we need to trim the fat from our social media campaign and decide which of these communities offer the greatest value for our goals. This may seem harder then it really is, it’s just about prioritizing your time and you only have so much to go around.

Invest in systems to automate your activity.
There are several tools, some free and some paid services. These require some time to setup and minimal learning curve but this type of investment will offer the freedom to engage in social media while being away from your computer, or doing other tasks. It’s very important to be involved with your social networks, and a continuous presence can multiply the results of your efforts, but that doesn’t mean you have to be online all day to achieve this.

Get off the computer and do something physical.
Performing physical activities such as walking, going to the gym, even taking out the trash or dusting the office are important to maintaining a healthy lifestyle and help you from over-indulging in online activities that can lead to social media burnout. If you find it difficult to spend more then a few minutes away from the computer, without being drawn back to it, then turn it off completely when you’re not on it. Yeah, it only takes a few moments to turn it back on, but turning off the computer helps you condition your brain to not think about it when you’re away from it. The less time you spend thinking about it, the more time you’ll have to engage in other activities.

What other ways can you think of to avoid social media burnout?