Forums & Discussions – Are you wasting your time? – Day 9 of the Challenge

Hi,

How much time are you wasting on forums and discussions?

The activity for Day 9 is to join a forum and participate. That got me looking at the groups (forums) I belong to through LinkedIn and Facebook. It was a surprise to see how short the list is.

There are 8 groups on LinkedIn and 5 on Facebook. Each of them is directly and obviously related to my business.

Have you ever thought you could be wasting time on your groups just because you’re bored? I didn’t until today.

I’m going to find a couple of groups – one about hiking and one for photography – that I can just be a part of and relax. Especially photography…I really want to get better at it.

And what about the time you waste reading everything that’s posted to your groups?

Does an active freelance copywriter really need to read the post about how to use LinkedIn to build a resume and get a great job? It’s amazing how quickly I get through the updates from all my groups when I’m careful about which links I click on.

It makes me think of my grandmother teaching me it’s rude to not answer a question. You’d be amazed at just how often people ask questions they really don’t want answers to. “How ya doin’?” pops into my mind as an example.  😉

But seriously, just because someone started a thread, conversation or discussion doesn’t mean you have to pay attention to it. Read the headline and decide if it’s relevant to you.

When I join a photography group, I’m not going to spend time reading posts about how to take photos with a film camera. My camera is a Sony Cybershot – no film.

It isn’t that I’m not interested. I’d love to have an SLR camera and do black & white photography on film. And when I get one, I’ll start paying attention to discussions that are relevant. Because then I can put the information to use.

Yes, there’s lots of information in my head that I don’t use every day. I don’t think I’ve ever needed organic chemistry to cook breakfast. But we’re talking about the time you use during your business day. You need to keep your reading relevant to your business.

So the groups I want to find about photography and hiking…that’s something I’ll do on Saturday or Sunday. And I’ll visit those groups during off hours.

I like Darren’s advice to spend just half an hour each day on your groups. And I’m even getting better at following it. Take a look at this post and yesterday’s…They’re both tighter and shorter than other posts.

That’s because I’m staying more on topic. Less rambling. It also means I spend less time typing the post – read “Conrad’s getting more efficient.” (Yep, a personal pat on the back for me.)

With my groups, I spending more time skimming titles, less time writing answers, and enjoying the process more. My hope is that my answers are more interesting to read because I’m staying on topic.

Thanks for reading. Be sure to leave a comment or question – it makes good practice for keeping it short, sweet and on-topic.

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