Time Anemia, Social Media and the Simple Cure

Shea Anderson / February 23, 2012

By Heidi Happonen

The Wall Street Journal recently hosted an online chat about time management. A teaser from the host read:

“There was a time, not so long ago, when I was busy, busy, busy. At least I thought I was.

I told people I worked 60 hours a week. I claimed to sleep six hours a night. As I lamented to anyone stuck next to me at parties, I was basically too busy to breathe. Me time? Ha!

Now I work 45 hours a week and sleep close to eight hours a night. But I’m not getting any less done.”

“Perfect!” I thought. That’s exactly what I need.

But I didn’t have time to attend.

We all complain about not having enough time. Time is a particularly potent enemy when it comes to social media. In fact, time anemia is probably the number one culprit for people who struggle with engaging with Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and the rest.

“Who has the time?” people (read: me) say.

Instead of re-thinking what we do with our time, we find Band-Aid solutions. We launch a Facebook page for our business and then ask the youngest person on staff to manage it.

After all, social media is “mostly for kids” isn’t it?

As we’ve said in this space before, social media is a place where conversations are taking place either about your business or about the things your business does.

As the folks at Spin Sucks say, it’s not a cure-all. But once you decide to get into the social media space, it’s not enough just to show up. You need to engage. Strategically and intelligently engage. And that means time.

Time management is really less about filling a five pound bag with 10 pounds worth of stuff. Rather, it’s about priorities.

There’s a saying posted on the wall of my gym:

“If it was important to you, you would have done it by now.”


The fact of the matter is, we spin our wheels a lot.

The first step to remedy this problem, according to the WSJ, is to keep a time log. Just like going on a diet, you have to know what you eat to know what to change. That means being honest. If you spent an hour watching Survivor, don’t log it as 30 minutes (because of commercials).

Secondly, engage your to-do list with phrases like, “it’s not a priority” rather than “I don’t have time.”

Stop complaining about not having enough time. If activities like social media are a priority, treat them as such.

Comments (2)

    sallybright avatar

    sallybright Feb 23, 2012, 10:04 PM

    I like your points, but your bottom line was a bit short. (Maybe you didn't have time for more?) There's a lot more to making it a priority than just saying it is, or moving it to the top of the list. Maybe we should go see @TMNinja (Time Management Ninja), Craig Jarrow? He takes the stop complaining and prioritize method to the next steps. Thanks for your reminder!

      Heidi avatar

      Heidi Feb 23, 2012, 10:32 PM

      Thanks for the comment. I agree, just saying it’s a priority isn’t enough. Hence the adage, “easier said than done.” Thanks for the link to Craig Jarrow. I’ll definitely check him out. I also have found Stephen Covey’s Time Management Matrix very helpful.