If it’s January, it’s Agent Appreciation Month at Inman. Join us all month to celebrate all that agents do, and come together with us virtually at Inman Connect, Jan. 26-28. Craving total access? Take advantage of our Agent Appreciation Sale and save 50% on your Select subscription.

Our digital tools have been invaluable this past year. Our phones kept us connected during a socially distanced era, and social media was always there to provide us with marketing opportunities and even more ways to stay in touch.

But despite all of that, mismanaging time on your smart devices and other social media outlets can not only harm your productivity, but it can also negatively affect your mental health. Here are a few tips to help you develop healthy habits within your digital life and up your organization game this year. 

1. Set up a digital bedtime for your devices

Our smartphones and watches are excellent tools, but they can also become a major distraction. Make sure to set up a “cut off” time for answering emails, texts, messages, etc., and put your devices to bed so that you and your body can stop responding to notifications.

Constantly exposing yourself to notifications can increase anxiety and make it difficult to relax. Lastly (and probably most importantly), the people who live with you will appreciate your full attention at the end of your workday. Consider using “do not disturb” during the day to give yourself a distraction-free break to manage tasks that require your full attention.

If you are worried there is an “emergency” on one of your deals that needs to be addressed, you might want to set up a free Google voice number for your clients and other people you interact with.

Tell them to use that number after hours if there is an emergency that can’t wait until the morning. Let everyone know your regular office hours and that you return phone calls and texts during those hours. Creating just a few simple boundaries is professional and great customer service.

2. Set time limits for social media

When you are on social media, be there with a purpose. For example: Set a timer for 15 minutes during which you can scroll through and enjoy your account. Then, set a timer for another 15 to answer questions and return messages.

Finally, set a timer for posting content for a final 15 minutes. Use the timer on your phone, set calendar appointments, and set reminders throughout the day so you don’t end up doomscrolling.

3. Slim down your social media presence

You do not have to be on every social media platform, but you do have to be easily found on Google by consumers. Creating content is a never-ending job. Make it manageable by keeping your main platform fresh and updated with new content.

Then, once a week or so, you can add content to a few other places — if you have the time. My general rule of thumb is: Use it and update it, or otherwise, you need to ditch it.

Remember that you don’t always have to be productive every second of the day. Make your time count, be efficient, and be flexible. We are pushing our business forward in new and challenging ways each day. Considering that, we deserve a pat on the back for a job well done. 

By day, Rachael Hite helps agents develop their business. By night, she’s tweeting and blogging. Feel free to tweet her @rachaelhite.

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