How Do You Keep Up?

“How do you keep up with all this stuff?” I’m asked that a lot. I get it. Busy

Keeping Up With the Digital Channel

First off, I don’t. I don’t read every tweet and Google+ post and whatever else. I dip in, look around, get out. I share interesting things that my friends might be doing. Sometimes, I share cause-minded stuff for people (like THIS – please just take a moment and give $10). But I don’t keep up.

Dip in. You can do this whenever. You can take 10 or 15 minutes a day (total!) if you want, and look around, comment where necessary, and then call it good. If you’re promoting or marketing your business, that’s all you need anyway. Put up a few posts, share a few related items, connect and engage where appropriate. Done.

Keeping Up With Email

There are a few tricks to keeping up with your inbox (I say this on a day where mine’s a bit messy). One is to reply back as fast as you can, and as definitively as you can.

Old: Sure I can meet with you. What time’s good for you?
New: Yes, I can meet with you. How about either 10am Tuesday or 1:30pm on Wednesday?

See the difference?

And now, an absolution:

Delete (or archive) any email more than 14 days old. You are NOT going to reply.

Do it. If you have x-thousand in your inbox, you’re never going to reply. If they need you, they’ll write back.

Keeping Up With the Latest Trends

I don’t. I don’t care. If something is worth it, someone will tell me. You read Mashable and someone else reads TechCrunch, and another person reads Obscure Mobile Technology Daily. Me? I read you. And when you think something is awesome, you share it. And then lots of people share it. And then I see it, and that’s still plenty early enough to do something with it.

This thrashing sense that we have to stay “current” on the news is rarely useful. Unless your business absolutely thrives on the now. But most of us only think our business does. Let’s say you sell marketing services to clients. Do you think that your client needs you to know about how Pinterest made their layout bigger? I’d say no. At least not at the very moment the news came out.

In the End, I Keep Up By Choosing My Priorities

Today and tomorrow, I have work to do for the people who take my courses. I owe them future lessons, and I owe them some feedback on various parts of the process. I owe prospective new clients some feedback. But I don’t owe Facebook my time. I don’t have to look at every Instagram photo that’s shot by. It’s all choices.

Me? I choose my priorities? You?

Please Consider Getting My Newsletter

Here’s exactly what you get when you sign up to my newsletter: I write you a weekly newsletter every Sunday. In it, I’ll tell you a story that will illustrate some point that’s useful to your life, your business, your organization, or maybe all of these. I’ll invite you to participate. I’ll be very personal. My goal is to help you build a strong, sustainable, relationship-minded business.

This letter is written be me, Chris Brogan. If you hit reply, the reply goes to me. I respond as soon as I can. Most people can’t believe how fast, but don’t let me get your hopes up. Sometimes, it takes a few days. But if you hit reply, I’m there.

If I intend to sell you something (and I do that, sometimes), it’ll be very clear. Somewhat comically so.

So join me. I respect your privacy and will honor your trust in us.

Join us for free and get valuable insights that you’ll end up eagerly awaiting. This is a community pretending to be a newsletter. You are why I write it.

Your privacy and email address are safe with us.

And thanks so much for your support.

–Chris…

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  • http://twitter.com/susanroane Susan RoAne

    So glad to see that the non-office/home-office option is getting some respect. Countless colleagues in the speaking profession had the fancy-schmancy offices and the burden of funding them.
    I’ve worked out of a home office, wrote books in coffee shops, held meetings my local pastry shop. As a speaker, we mostly get on a plane and fly to a destination or client. A desk, of course. An office, no.

    • http://chrisbrogan.com/ Chris Brogan

      Presuming this was for my other post. But it’s okay. : )

  • Ion Doaga

    This is a great message. It’s easy when you understand your values. The craving for easy attention on Facebook and Instagram makes people spend their time like a zombie, looking for that LIKE or comment.

    I also have facebook page, but I don’t have time to spend much time there. I’m figuring what works better, for my website and I keep doing it. Facebook is like an attachement to my business.

    • http://chrisbrogan.com/ Chris Brogan

      That’s a good plan. : )

  • gmart

    I agree with setting time limits. I use a Pomodoro timer. When it goes off, I am done.

    • http://chrisbrogan.com/ Chris Brogan

      Great way to do it. : )

  • http://waldowsocial.com DJ Waldow

    It’s all about choice. Always has been, always will be. Personally, I feel the *pressure* … the *need* to reply to everything. My take is that if someone is going to take time out of their day to acknowledge me, the least I can do is say thanks. The problem is, I then get “sucked in” to other stuff … stuff that doesn’t matter.

    Great reminders Chris. Especially love your take about how you reply to emails – be direct. Tell them the time/day that works. We waste so much time on that back and forth “when is best for you” exchanges.

    • http://chrisbrogan.com/ Chris Brogan

      We agree for sure. : )

    • TC

      Please, help us end the “thank you” email message. We already receive to many emails, a message in which the only new thing is a “thank you” is not adding any value – for me personally it adds more value just not get yet another email on my mailbox.

      • Lin Gates

        Fabulous! I love this idea!!! And I’m not going to say thank you for posting your opinion! :)

      • http://waldowsocial.com DJ Waldow

        I’m with you TC … however, if someone pays you a compliment, isn’t it nice to say thank you? Sure – not a REPLY ALL “thank you” but still, a thank you. Agree?

    • http://blog.paulgailey.com/ Paul Gailey

      Phones can be unfashionably useful for that.

  • http://twitter.com/Koozai_Dean Dean Marsden

    I’m the sort of person that likes to respond to emails right away too, but I know many that like to schedule email checks and responses. Keeping up with the latest social media posts is always going to be too much work. Its true the best stuff will eventually find its way to you, but I recommend taking some time to review who typically posts stuff that keeps you well informed and make sure they are added to a new, ‘important’ circle on Google+, a list on twitter, or a group on Facebook.

    • http://chrisbrogan.com/ Chris Brogan

      That’s also fine. I just mean sooner than later, I guess. : )

  • http://twitter.com/MaryJeanAdams Mary Jean Adams

    I see social media like a cocktail party. I don’t go with the intent to talk to everyone there. (It’s impossible and downright obnoxious) I “dip in” for awhile with the goal of having fun, meeting some interesting people, learnign something new – then getting back to my priorities – work, family, whatever.

  • Lin Gates

    Chris ! This is so dead on and so honest! It’s the best blog I’ve actually been “moved” by! You’ve got a fabulous down-to-earth sense of self and of life! I’ll keep following and RTing!

  • http://www.terminusapp.com/ Puru Choudhary

    Chris, this is a very good starting point. Thanks.

    Keeping up and not wasting a whole lot of time with all the social media has been so difficult for me. A lot of the times I don’t even bother checking, but when I do, I tend to spend so much time just reading all the tweets that I have missed, etc. I have gotten much better with emails, but not the social media stuff.

  • http://becomemade.net/ DavidCrowell

    I just wanted to say you have an amazing themed blog. Looks great keep it up.

  • http://twitter.com/LibraryLifeHack Sally Neal

    This is something I’ve actually wondered about for a while. I think I’d assumed that you (and your contemporaries) were incredibly fast and dedicated readers of multiple newsfeeds. Thank you for affirming that “pick and choose” works just fine!

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