It's hard to stay focused on your work in the busy environment of the music industry at the best of times. There's always a song to be heard, an artist to interview, or a new deadline that you already needed to have out of the way by yesterday. Chuck social media into the mix, with the multiple Twitter/Facebook/LinkedIn/Myspace interactions that are needed to work effectively, and you are already in for one hefty dose of screen time. And that's not even taking into account your Smart Phone.
It's tough, but sadly that's the way that work is. As some people say, you don't go to work to do work, you go there to get interrupted. But that doesn’t mean that you can't get your work done promptly, effectively and without the minimum of fuss. You have the right to join the online conversation with your brand, and you also have the right to do it without interruptions. After all, it's how you get the best results. Here are a few steps to achieving the best social media environment.
Go Mobile: Can't concentrate at your desk? Too much conversation, or too little conversation? Then why not move? Hop on a laptop, or head to another part of the office where you know that you won't be disturbed. Make sure you take a to-do list though, to keep on track, AND to marvel at how much more you can get done if you are sat somewhere interesting, without the world and their mum staring down your neck.
You don't need email/chat when you are social networking: Let's face it, we've all been in that situation where we're working away on a project/talking to users/writing a blog posting, when the little blue box in the bottom right of your screen appears with another 'high priority' email from the office worrier about a project due in two months time. But we still read it. And then respond to it. And then another. And another. Before you know it you're updating Twitter, Facebook, Myspace, your HR department, your manager and your partner's best mate on your various goings on. FOCUS! Get rid of the interruptions - shut outlook, shut MSN, focus on one browser window. You can either do one job well, or several to a competent level. Choose the former.
Still can't think? Go for a drink. Chained to your desk? Need to think of an idea to boost a Social Media campaign for one of your artists? Sat under some striplights staring at an empty desk and some toilets? Nice one, that's possibly the least inspiring place to sit and try and come up with an idea that will get fans and artists excited and connected. How can you correct that? Well, it's a lovely day outside, why not go for a walk around the block? Why not go and chat to a colleague about their day? Grab a drink of water (not coffee), and go and sit somewhere quiet with a pen and a pencil. Don't 'think outside of the box' - leave the bloody thing!
Explain: Explain to staff members what you are doing. Some might get a bit annoyed that you initially take a bit longer to respond to their emails, but stick to it if it works for you, keep calm, and explain what you are doing. Or maybe even set up an away message saying that you will respond to their email in a pre-defined time window. If you're half the dude I think you are, then you'll come back with a wicked answer to their query that required a lot more than the usual two seconds thought you give to an email.
Listen to something cool: Whether it's a podcast of your favorite music (my current favorite is the Hospital Records Podcast), or maybe one of the wicked interviews over at Big Think, listen to something that will get you thinking, and listen to something you enjoy. Who knows, the idea for your next campaign or blog posting could be hiding away there, so keep your ears open.
Got any more for me? Then chuck a few words my way in the box below...