Jean has been a home-based business owner for a number of years. She has gained valuable experience and insight along the way.
What Is Digital Procrastination?
Digital procrastination is a habit of spending too much time using digital devices to surf online so as to avoid getting constructive work done. It can also include mobile phone activities like texting, browsing social media, and playing online games and gambling. The loss of awareness of how much time is spent away from constructive business-building activities can be substantial and cause business inefficiencies and failure.
Forms of Digital Procrastination
checking your email more than twice during working hours
watching YouTube during business hours
using manual posting rather than an automated software
excessive texting during your business hours
reading posts not immediately related to the work at hand
cruising instagram or snapchat during working hours
talking on your cell phone while trying to work
getting distracted on Pinterest when you are posting
getting distracted on-line while researching
having talk radio playing in the background
Reasons for Digital Procrastination
- It can be caused by boredom
- It can be caused by overwhelm
- The business owner doesn't know what to do next
- The business owner is fatigued and overworked
- The business owner is giving up
- The business owner is not seeing enough positive business results
- It's a habit
- It's a deliberate work avoidance tactic
How to Manage Social Media Without Getting Sucked Into the Great Abyss
Checking trends and researching what's going on in the internet world is necessary to do business these days, but doing it in a timely fashion is key. Setting a time limit is a really good idea even though it is not at the top of your importance list. Like I've said before, my electronic timer is one of my most important tools along with my laptop and phone. If you can get into the habit of using a timer for all your business activities, then you will develop more time awareness.
Posting to social media is a lot different than perusing it. One is a business-building activity and the other is a potential time waster. It is important to remember there is only you and there is only so much time. You are the one that has to be accountable for how and where you use your time.
You Have Two Choices - Success or Failure
Managing Your Internet and Phone Usage Effectively
A lot of people don't seem to have the self-control to moderate the use of their electronic devices even during work hours. To that end, a number of management apps have emerged on the market. If you are having trouble staying off your devices, then you may want to look into one of these apps.
On-line and Digital Management Apps
Group Your Similar Activities and Set a Time Limit
When you are posting to social media, group activities together. For example, if you need to post pictures to various sites including your website, take all the pictures when you've got the camera out, then when you are ready, post all of the pictures where they need to be.
Using an automatic posting system can save you time so you don't have to be the one to be online off and on all day long. You can limit the time you need to be online so you can attend to equally or more important things.
Is Your Digital Usage Part of Your Important Tasks or Is It Just a Fill In?
This is an important question. Obviously some aspects of the online world will be important business-building tasks while others are time wasters that we have drifted into for one reason or another. Only you can determine honestly where your online activities lie. Is it digital procrastination or is it a necessary online activity that will move your home-based business forward?
All Business-Building Activities Have Different Degrees of Importance
The relative importance of a business-building activity can shift very quickly if there is a family emergency or your bank account or email has been hacked. These situations need to be dealt with swiftly. If you have been contacted to be part of a large project, you may decide to put some of your other projects on hold to devote time to this golden opportunity.
Flexibility is key but keeping the money flowing in so you can keep living your passions is important. Getting distracted is easy to do, so being mindful and proactive is key.
Research and Development or Losing Time and Money
Researching and planning your business potential is a very important aspect of business. The reason I bring this up here is because not everyone does it. They have an idea for a product or they believe affiliate marketing is the way to go without researching if there is enough public interest to make it a viable business. New innovative products have no relevant data to support whether or not there is potential for success. If you remember, pet rocks and chia pets took off and were successful for a while until they became tiresome and their sales waned. Those marketers then have to find new profit centers to put some jingle in their pockets.
Great disappointment can occur by throwing a product or service out there and thinking it will be successful. Its a cruel product world and since you have a home-based business that requires sales and incoming money flow, when those things don't happen, you fill your time with online browsing because there is nothing else to do. Do your homework before you start your business so you don't end up drifting in the Great Sea of Disappointment and digital procrastination.
If Your Business Is in Trouble, Get Help
Some injuries to your business can be repaired. There are lots of free resources in most larger communities that can counsel you and teach you what you may not know. If your business is salvageable they will tell you. They will also tell you if it is not. But one thing is clear. If you keep engaging in digital procrastination, it won't take that long for your business to be in trouble.
A home-based business is just like a store-front business that requires a certain business acumen and constant learning and attention to be successful. Don't be afraid to get help.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.