By Mark Evans
In 2011, less is going to be more . . . and that’s a good thing.
It’s a decision that comes on the heels of a happily hectic 2010 in which my business surged ahead, and a number of other projects (including the mesh conference) consumed time. It was a great year but it felt like a hurricane, leaving me with the feeling that things could be better organized, more efficient, and more productive.
So less in 2011 means:
1. Less time online. Given how much time I do spend online, less will still be a lot. Nevertheless, this means being online not because I should or it’s convenient but because there’s something to do. It means using the time I now devote to fooling around online to instead read a book or a newspaper, play a game, or call a friend.
2. Less time on the iPhone. I love smartphones but they’re starting to rule us rather than us ruling them. We have become compulsive-obsessive about checking our smartphones all the day. How many times do you think people check for e-mail a day? I’d say at least 25. Our smartphones have killed our time to think and take a mental break because they give us something to “do” when there is a break in the action.
3. Fewer apps. I’m an app-aholic, always looking for the new and shiny application that will do things differently or better. It’s fun to check out new toys but it also means spending less time with the apps I have and that help me get my work done. For me, these include WordPress, DropBox, Freshbooks, Skype, Google Docs, Bit.ly,and Manymoon. While it’s great to discover a gem that not a lot of people are using, it also takes time.
4. Less time in the in-box. People may say e-mail is dying but not for me. The amount of time I spend in my in-box is terrifying. That said, most of it is work related. It’s managing projects, reaching out and talking with clients, responding to inquiries, and doing stuff like mesh. Still, I’m in the in-box most of the day as opposed to checking several times a day. We all tend to forget that e-mail isn’t going to disappear if it’s not checked hourly. At the same time, not checking and responding to e-mail may re-set expectations about quickly someone should respond to an e-mail.
5. Less social media. Now, here’s the elephant in the room. For me, social media is mostly a professional and brand building vehicle. They are tools I use to establish a stronger digital presence, consume valuable information and, as important, drink the digital Kool-Aid. After all, it is difficult to be a digital marketing and social media strategist if you’re not using and experimenting with the tools.
Still, social media is a time-suck. Blogging, my social bread and butter, takes up a lot of time and intellectual energy. I’m not really into Facebook so I’m okay with the little time it does consume. That leaves Twitter, which I love, but probably spend too much time scrolling through looking for gems. If less is truly more, then less time in Twitter is the goal for 2011. I’ll probably create as much content – seven to 10 tweets a day – because it’s how I build digital street cred. It’s the consuming that needs to be addressed.
We’re only into day four of 2011 so the “less is more” theme is a new and fragile concept. That said, I didn’t open my laptop from five p.m. Sunday until Monday morning so maybe it’s taking root!
What about you? Could less be more?
First posted on markevanstech.ca