My family and I recently took a 10-day vacation in South Florida.?We hit 8 different swimming pools and 2 beaches in 10 days.?We also managed to visit a lot of relatives and stuffed ourselves with arepas, teque?os, cachitos, and other great Venezuelan food.?It?s safe to say that it was very enjoyable and relaxing…except for one thing: I spent way too much time refreshing my iPhone?s email client, Twitter feed, Instagram feed, Tumblr feed, and Facebook feed. Instead of finishing the book ?Presenting to Win. The Art of Telling Your Story?, I wasted valuable time as a spectator and content creator on social media sites. Instead of pondering version 2.0 of our ezCoC software product, I flicked through countless 140-character posts on Twitter. Instead of working on mockups for a new safety application for our client American Electric Power, I took a bunch of pictures and played with all those cool filters on Instagram to make them look even better.

Procrastinating is Easy with Social Media
To be blunt, I wasted a bunch of valuable time doing things that seemed productive but really weren?t. And this wasted time came at the expense of time intended for recharging, acquiring clarity, and focusing on big picture items. In a phrase, I procrastinated. In my mind, I knew that I should be working on those other things. But I didn?t. It was much easier to sip on my cold Corona while surfing Twitter and reading a few blog articles about why Apple left EPEAT and then came back.

Being a spectator and content creator on social media sites was effortless. It was easier to do than work on that which I knew I needed to work. And did any of that social media surfing make a difference to me personally or for my business? Well, I got a bunch of Facebook ?likes? and comments on some pictures I posted. I also got a few more Twitter followers and Pinterest re-pins. But how does any of that make any tangible difference to my company? It really doesn?t, except perhaps some microscopic difference that is years away, if at all.

Being Productive Means Getting Things Done
The single most important lesson I learned during my vacation was that social media activity can be one more excuse to not start. It can mask procrastination and even make you feel productive. But being productive in your business means more than just trolling social media sites. It means getting things done that you know you need to get done. It means moving your idea forward a step. It means starting.

I?m all for social media and pull versus push marketing.?I get that. But what I, and you, need to be careful about, is that social media sites can be huge time sucks that lead to procrastination and not getting things done. Don?t fall into this trap. Use social media wisely, but don?t let social media activity keep you from doing truly productive things that you know you need to do.

You know what those things are. Now just go out and do them.

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