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Social Media Sinkholes

by Randall Craig on October 13, 2009

Filed in: Blog, Make It Happen Tipsheet, Social Media

Tagged as: , , , ,

There are over 300 web sites that have a Social Media angle to them. Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Twitter might be the most familiar, but you may also spend time on FlickR, eBay, Plaxo, Orkut, and others. In fact, you may be spending so much time on these “Networks”, that you have little time for anything else. The central question is “how much time is too much time“?


1) What is your goal for Social Networking? Is it to grow your business connections, catch up with family, or talk about a hobby? It is to collaborate with other professionals in your industry, or to gauge the level of “buzz” for your products? Or is it simply recreation? Most people just fall into the activity of exploring the Social Media world, and don’t stop to think about why they are doing it. Once you define your Social Networking objectives, you can then determine how, and where, they can be met. And how much time it should take.

2) Is there an element of addiction? Most people would never think of themselves as addicted to the Internet or Social Media, but answer two questions: (1) Is it hard to pull yourself away from the activity? and (2) Is Social Media and the Internet pulling you away from real-life activities and relationships? If either is the case, consider limiting your access to specific times, and scheduling “real-world” activities with others. Setting firm objectives also helps. If you want to test yourself, try going cold-turkey for a week: skip the social media sites for a full seven days, and see what happens.

3) Is distraction a problem? There are far too many Social Media distractions that prevent us from efficiently achieving our goals. Beyond the comments on pictures, “must-see” links from friends on Twitter and LinkedIn, there are fascinating updates from those we care about. If you know what you need from a site, be single-minded about it: get in, get what you need, and get out. Ignore all of the eye-candy.

4) The Google Problem: Given the reach and depth of Google, we think that a simple search will answer just about any question. Given the number of Friends, Connections, and Followers that we have, we think that Social Media provides transparent access to relationships. In both cases, at best it is a start. A person’s profile (or a Google search) doesn’t provide access to specialized insight, specific-for-you intelligence, or a strong relationship – real world-interaction does.

This week’s action item: As a professional, establish the right balance of social networking vs real networking. Cut any recreational social networking that masquerades as real work, and increase the real-world networking that builds your professional network.

Note: The Make It Happen Tipsheet is also available by email. Go to to register.

Randall Craig

@RandallCraig (follow me)


Urgent vs. Important

by Randall Craig on September 16, 2008

Filed in: Blog, Make It Happen Tipsheet, Management, Planning,

Tagged as: , , ,

We are a society looking for instant gratification. When a customer calls, we rush to meet their needs. When we check into a hotel, we expect prompt, courteous service. When we drive our cars, we always take the shortest routes – at the fastest speeds. And when we do a great job, we want to be recognized for it – immediately. Unfortunately, not all things can – or should – happen instantly; some things take time.

There are many shorter-term demands on our time, both at work and at home. Our managers, customers, suppliers, and co-workers all have expectations of us. Our families do too. We make promises to all of these people, and when we deliver, we enjoy a gratifying “thank you”, as well as the intrinsic satisfaction of a job well done.

But what of the longer-term commitments that we make; the ones that are easily deferred when short term priorities (and crises) get in the way? Is there a trick to balancing them out? Probably the most effective way is to simply schedule specific time, every day, to work on longer-term commitments. During this time, don’t take calls, emails, nor schedule meetings. Even if the time scheduled is only 20-30 minutes, it doesn’t take long for the minutes – and your accomplishments – to add up.

This week’s action item: Of all of the items on your to-do list, choose one of them, and schedule it into a fixed, daily slot. And while your calendar is open, schedule some time a few months from now, to look back at the “important” progress you’ve made.

Note: The Make It Happen Tipsheet is also available by email. Go to to register.

Randall Craig

@RandallCraig (follow me)


The First Day of School

by Randall Craig September 2, 2008

Remember your first day at school, after a long summer holiday? You looked forward to seeing friends again, while at the same time felt sad about leaving the summer behind. However you felt (and maybe still feel), today, many people use the summer more actively, physically and also to make changes personally and professionally. You […]

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White Space

by Randall Craig July 22, 2008

Graphic designers know that if you have one element on the page, and lots of white space around it, the eye is drawn to that one element. Professional speakers know how to use a pause – silence – to emphasize a point. And musicians know that a break in the music creates anticipation. How can […]

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Holiday Nocations

by Randall Craig December 18, 2007

When you go away on your vacation, are you really taking the time to recharge? Are you spending that promised time with your loved ones, creating those memories that you will cherish for years to come? Or are you spending your time checking emails, taking calls from the office, and stressing about your deadlines. If […]

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September Makes You Stronger

by Randall Craig September 4, 2007

After a summer of vacation, a relaxed pace, and perhaps a bit too much socializing, you’re back at your desk, thinking about how to kick-start your career – or at least keep a semblance of work-life balance. After all, you’ve just come back from a summer break: You’ve got more energy: you’ve just been recharged; […]

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Business Travel Balancing Act

by Randall Craig August 8, 2006

When you are interviewing for that new position, and are asked about how you feel about business travel, most people will say that it isn’t a problem. In fact, some may see the prospect of travelling to exciting new places as a key benefit of taking the job in the first place. After several months […]

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Balancing Act – Chapter One

by Randall Craig May 30, 2006

How do you find Balance, when you are in the middle of the biggest project of your career? Often the answer is that you cannot – and sometimes the answer is that you should not. The reason why can be found in any good mystery book. During the first chapter or so, the plot is […]

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Community Involvement – Personal Benefit

by Randall Craig May 16, 2006

Who are those individuals who organize charitable events, act as fundraisers, and sit on not-for-profit boards? How do they find the time, when the challenge of Balance means that time is at an all-time premium? In addition to the “feel-good” that comes from helping others, there are some importance benefits that might make you consider […]

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