I have recently been introduced to Richard Denny and his books. I have to say that I highly recommend them to anyone in any management position, whether employed or entrepreneur.

You could say that a lot of his teachings are common sense and maybe they are, but if that gives us the kick towards what we should be doing rather than what we enjoy doing, then so much the better! I believe that this is true whether we are working for someone else, giving them value, or working for ourselves and endeavouring to grow our business.

Some of Richard’s time-management teachings resonate with me particularly strongly at the moment. An obvious, but key one, is to make your plan of actions the night before the day you plan to do them. Not only will the jobs you need to get done be fresh in your mind, but it takes the pressure off you somehow to write them down at the end of your work day, however late that is. Also, when you come to your list the next day, having prioritised it all, you know exactly where to get cracking, so not wasting any of the new day’s energy deciding what to do!

So much of our time can be wasted procrastinating, that we often struggle to get tasks finished. But Richard points out that, in the 2 days before we go on holiday we can suddenly put in amazing amounts of work in order to complete jobs we don’t want to come back to, making decisions, writing those emails and letters we should have got round to doing some time ago! As he says, if we can work like that then, we could do so all the time! True, if we had that amount of incentive, but yes, I do agree with his take-home message.

It struck me though that this ‘holiday sign-off’ mode of work doesn’t work when it comes to social media activity. In order to be effective, we need to be ‘doing’ our social media little and often. We need to maintain our presence on Twitter by being on there at least twice a day, Facebook I would advocate checking at least once a day and LinkedIn ditto. You don’t want to be missing crucial engagement because you didn’t check in! I think it looks pretty bad if we fail to respond to a post or tweet within 24hrs and certainly within a customer service capacity, you’d want to be responding much quicker than this. Personally, I advocate to continue with the social media presence over the weekend – the world of social media doesn’t sleep! I quite like the idea of the ‘professional persona switching off for the weekend and a more relaxed style being in evidence, for both myself and my clients. Would you agree?

One thing that won’t work in your favour is thinking ‘Oh, I’ve not done any social media for a while, I’d better get some done now’ and then spending ages doing loads of tweets or posts, followed by several days’ abstinence. Anyone who did respond to what you put up will have forgotten all about the conversation by the time you reply (sometimes it’s difficult to remember the thread even when it’s been a few hours – thank heavens for Hootsuite’s ability to ‘show conversation’). So if you do get one of those moments, maybe spend half an hour on Facebook and the same on twitter, then comeback in a couple of hours just to follow up – then try to do ‘little and often’ from then on. It really is a routine worth getting into!