Monday, October 8, 2012

Social Media Monday—A Social Media Schedule Anyone Can Live With

I'm a glass half-full kind of girl!

You can look at this digital age we live in as a blessing or a curse—and there are merits to each viewpoint. Since I’m a glass half full type girl, I happen to take the positive approach. I like the connectedness of this time and place. I like connecting in person and online—especially through Facebook and Twitter.

A word of warning here, it’s possible to let these tools (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc.) eat into your writing time. For myself, the way I combat that temptation is to schedule my networking time.

Many of you have asked how I schedule my day so now is as good a time as any to share it with you. Now, please know that I am NOT an organized person, but this loose arrangement of my day helps me to stay sane in the insane world of freelance writing.

A daily schedule helps keep things manageable.
My Daily Schedule 
  • 8 – 9: I answer email (I have two accounts), and I use Hootsuite to schedule my main social media for the entire day. I use this hour to get connected.
  • 9 – 11:30: I use this time as my creative writing time, because it’s the time when I’m most creative.
  • 11:30 – 12: I answer any emails and phone calls that have come in and again check FB, Twitter and my blog.
  • 12-1: lunch.
  • 1-3 I: work on things that have a deadline and once a week write all my blog posts during this time.
  • 3:30 – 4: I again check email, phone messages, FB, Twitter and my blog. Then, before I go to bed I again check email, FB, Twitter and my blog.
  • Also, about once an hour I get up and walk around to relieve my back and when I sit back down, I check Hootsuite. That way, if anyone has mentioned me or retweeted something I can reply. It’s important to keep the conversation going throughout the day and this is how I do it. BUT, I only allow myself 5-10 minutes each hour or two.

Give yourself permission NOT to answer the phone.
Now, some days the times vary, especially if I have a big deadline, but this is my basic schedule. I try not to be subject to emails or even the telephone. Funny thing, I discovered that people are fine about having to leave messages, IF they know I’ll actually call them back. This allows me to accomplish what I need most days and still stay sane.

I’d love to know how you schedule your social media time. Share your tips, and your struggles in the comments section below. Remember, we’re all better together!

Don’t forget to join the conversation!


  1. Thanks, Edie. You make social media sound almost manageable. :-)

    1. Pat, if I couldn't make it manageable for me I'd never do it! Thanks for stopping by, Blessings, E

  2. Right now, I work full time outside the home, but I try to get up on MWF early and do my blogging. I write on my lunch breaks at work, and I've split my evenings into the following schedule:

    M: Write blogs for the week, crit CP's stuff
    T: Write for an hour
    W: Write for an hour
    Th: Write for 1-2 hours
    F: Off
    Sat: Write for 3 hours
    Sun: Off

    So far, it's worked for me, but I don't have kids yet and hubby often has to work late. This definitely won't always work, and sometimes, I have to take a week off here or there just to recover!

  3. Lindsay, I think you've done well with your schedule. You also bring up an important point, life happens! A schedule should help REDUCE stress, not add to it. When things change, our schedules need to reflect that. Thanks for stopping by, Blessings, E

  4. Gee, I don't pay as much attention to social medial as you do. I guess I'm out of the loop. I do have a web page, writer's facebook page (I'm up to 32 "likes" YAY) and email and I'm considering a blog. I haven't convinced myself I can do that yet.
    I love that you said you have a "loose" schedule. Mine is definitely loose but here it is:
    Because I write bible studies, I consider time in God's Word part of my work schedule Most mornings it's about an hour.
    MWF morning - water aerobics and Bible study, check my personal and author facebook pages and my personal and work email.
    MWF afternoon - 3-4 hrs writing, reading writer skill books, research, if I need it. It's kind of free-form but at least focused on writing.
    TTh morning - Bible study, reading blogs. Try to keep it to 30 min. I don't subscribe to many. 1-2 hours writing.
    TTH afternoon - 2-3 hours writing, rewriting...lots of rewriting. Does that ever slow down?
    Every day at lunch, I check both facebooks and emails . And I have to work the daily crossword puzzle.
    Sat - I try to send out a monthly newsletter so I usually work on that while watching football. Of course, "monthly" is kind of loose, too.
    Sun - off! I do make a note if God whispers to me in SS or church. He often does.
    So, that's my aim. The kids are grown and gone so I don't have any distractions that way but it seems there are always distractions.

  5. I love the idea of a schedule, but with six children at home and three of them homeschool age, I have to take the moments as I can. I participate in blog hops, so I try to get those done while my 12yo is getting breakfast on the table. I check FB and other blogs here and there as the morning permits, my first priority to be available when a child says they need help or to get a snack for them or to decide who had what first. I check FB again as soon as they are down for naps, and then work on my WIP. The older ones read or play, etc., and know that they should only bother me if there is blood or something is on fire. Then, after they are in bed for the night, another check into FB and working on blog posts. I really didn't think I was keeping up until I wrote all this out for this comment. There is always more I could do, but considering my phase of life, maybe I'm doing all right. Thanks, Edie!

  6. I find managing from Hootesuite keeps me on task. I can check what is happening in a short time and somehow I don't fall into long periods of hovering. Maybe having all the tabs open at once helps, I don't know.

  7. Thanks so much for sharing your schedule. I work full time out of the home and my hubby has his own company so I do find I am time challenged. Your schedule helps give me a direction to start. THanks much!

  8. Oh mercy. Ever since I became "socialable" I've struggled trying to balance it with family, homeschooling, and life in general!
    I must look into this Hootsuite thing.
    I like hearing about everyone's schedules. I try to have a schedule but it's humorous.
    One thing that seems to be helping me is logging my time. I have found logging the time when I write and social network helps me keep everything in perspective. I tend to run over a "scheduled" time but am more conscious of time when I log it in. Go figure!

  9. Very good advice, Edie. I have say I avoided Social Media for a long time because I was intimidated by the hours and hours and hours I would have to spend doing it. It seemed to be a full time job on its own. Thanks for showing us the right way to connect through social media.

  10. Great idea, Sally. I hadn't thought about logging my time. It will help me keep on track and help me see that I did accomplish something that day, even when I feel like it was a bust. Most important, like a budget, it will help me see what's a time-hog and how I need to adjust. Thanks for the great tip!

  11. Great tip to check Hootsuite once an hour to keep the conversations going. Thanks.

  12. Thank your for sharing. I received some good insights. I just need to set up a schedule that will work for me. Thanks again, God bless you.

    Glenda Parker

  13. Hi Edie! I've often wondered how you manage to stay on top of everything - thanks for sharing some scheduling ideas. I find it best to do my writing first and stay unplugged in the morning. Then I'm less likely to get distracted online. I'm also thinking of using a timer to keep me focused and disciplined when I am online. Ideally, I check social media once or twice each day- over lunch works well. But with four kids, life does happen. A schedule gives me a framework to start from.

  14. Good one, Edie. I'd love to settle into a schedule, and now's as good a time as any!

    Re: cell phone -- when I need to seriously focus, I text the hubs and kids and tell them I'm "going dark" (not answering texts or calls). Then I check in after a couple of hours to touch base. It works great for us!