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  • Writer's pictureKristen Herring-Asleson

Take a Break from SM!

A large portion of what a virtual assistant does is social media, if that is one of the services their agency offers.

What viewers see as a finished product on social media takes more time that one would think to create.

What exactly is content creation? It is the process of generating topic ideas that appeal to your buyer persona, creating written or visual content around those ideas, and making that information accessible to your audience as a blog, video, infographic or other format.

Being a virtual assistant that offers social media creation and management, there are five of my clients that depend on content creation multiple times a week. Everyone knows that just one post a week does not cut it, but not everyone knows the amount of time it takes to create those posts.

With this being a service, sitting on social media at work is completely acceptable.

But is sitting on social media when it isn’t in your job description acceptable? Most likely not.

People do not realize is how much time they spend looking at social media. The time is understandable if it's for research purposes, checking out the competition, or while on a break. But, if being on social media is distracting you or you find yourself being pulled from project, then you are on it too much during work hours.

Many employees, from the business owner to the lunch workers, use social media as a mental break. Others see it as a networking opportunity. In fact, according to a Pew Research Poll, it doesn’t matter if an employer has a policy about using social media on the job, 77% of workers report using it anyway.

These are the most popular reasons employees use social media during work:

  • 27% use it to connect with friends and family while at work.

  • 24% use it to make professional connections (such as LinkedIn).

  • 20% crowdsource potential problem-solving tactics.

  • 17% learn more about someone they work with or strengthen their relationships with coworkers.

It's interesting that 56% of the workers who took this poll said that no matter how they utilize social media, it ends up being a distraction from what they really should be doing. Personally, I hope that doesn’t trickle down to all professions as I think about the five times I have been on the operating table in the past couple of years.

Hopefully those surgeons were not responding to friend requests while I was "under the knife."

Social media could become an addiction if a person is not careful. And, like any other addiction, it will not tell you a time that is best to use, it simply overtakes all rational decision making. Before you know it, your body is on autopilot and your platforms of choice are up and scrolling commences.

If this describes you, chances are, social media usage is impacting your work performance. There are many other ways to take a mental break at work other than scrolling on your device.

  • Stand up and do something active. Even if that means making a lap or two around the office (inside or out).

  • If you find that you and other employees are on social media talking about work, find another mode of communication.

  • Take a face-to-face break with a coworker.

  • Meditate and step away from the screen for five minutes.

Any of these methods will take you away from screen time and social media usage, and almost guaranteed, your brain will thank you.

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