(Focus and the Art of Social Media)

Are you like this too?

I’m sociable, but I also want to focus intently on people I’m meeting with and on creative/work projects. Whether you’re an Accounting Exec, Hair Stylist, or an Entrepreneur, you have periods of time where you just have to focus or else the quality of your work and/or your productivity suffer.

How to manage this while being accessible via Social Media networks? How is one to be friendly, genuinely interact with people, and yet meet deadlines with work that you can be proud of?

Last week I unintentionally offended someone because I was on a planned Skype meeting with someone else and didn’t respond to their impromptu chat request. I couldn’t. I was meeting with a colleague on a project and owed them my full attention. Where I messed up is that I didn’t think to set my status as “away” before the call so it appeared to this other person like I was dodging them instead of racing off to my next scheduled event that day.

The nasty-gram I got afterward wasn’t pretty.

~ Best advice for avoiding nasty-grams of this variety?

Keep all chat disabled/away unless you explicitly – but not in an explicit way 😉 – want to shoot the breeze with whomever you’re friends with who might be on during that time.

~ Next best advice?

Be clear about scheduling chats or meetings of any kind or else spontaneous communication will be expected as the norm. And maybe you’ve got a deadline to take care of instead.

~ Best, best advice?

Be kind to yourself as well as others. Entrepreneurs often feel the pressure to be “on” during nights, weekends, pretty much 24/7. And the first time you agree to discuss even casual business during these times it becomes a slippery slope. A new expectation is in place and it’s definitely not in your best interests.

Being proactive about scheduling something (because I was genuinely interested in finding out more) would have helped to avoid the accusatory email that came my way but I’m not taking responsibility for it beyond that. We can never meet everyone’s expectations for us and it’s madness to try. Being friendly, helpful, and exceeding expectations has nothing to do with rolling over like a submissive puppy the moment somebody wants something. Especially when they’re the ones wanting a free favor from you.

What do you think?