07/20/2016 11:47 EDT | Updated 07/20/2016 11:59 EDT

Manage Your Social Media Following And Still Get S*** Done

Yes, this is the biggest First World Problem known to (wo)man. But it does present a very real challenge - how does one manage a prominent social media following while staying productive?

Leonardo Patrizi via Getty Images
Three women friends looking social media and videos on smart phone.

I remember the day when I longingly gazed at my mentor's Twitter feed and thought, "Yep, when I reach 4,000 followers I'll know I've made it!" (which is such bullshit, by the way -- your follower count means very little and doesn't change the way you feel. At all. I digress.)

The point is, my business and my brand have both grown exponentially over the course of two years, and growth has spiked in the past six months. Without wanting to sound like a verbal corporate chart, here's what this means in real lingo - I play whack-a-mole with my social media notifications on the daily.

Now. Yes, this is the biggest First World Problem known to (wo)man. But it does present a very real challenge - how does one manage a prominent social media following while staying productive? Particularly if, like me, you run an online business and social media is where you communicate with your people. Don't stress - here are the five tips I implement every day.

Don't reach for your phone first thing

Your alarm sounds and you reach for your iPhone and swipe right to silence the melody piercing your skull at 5 a.m. And now your phone is in your keen little hands, you open your Facebook app. You scroll. And before you know it, twenty minutes have rolled by and you're watching a cat video and wondering how the hell you got there. And now you don't have time to fit in your workout and you're running late. Sound familiar? Then stop it. Fill yourself up FIRST. Do your workout /meditation/journaling/coffee guzzling/whatever-the-hell-you-need, and THEN check your social media feed. And this isn't just a self-care thing. It's about your mindset - because nothing kills your buzz like seeing a stream of negativity before your toes hit the hardwood.

Social media breaks

When you DO open your social media apps, set a timer. Yes, this sounds nuts. No I'm not joking. And yes, it works. Set your timer for 10 minutes and blast through ALL of your notifications and get it done within your set time. There's strength in this for two reasons - one, it gives you a goal and a focus instead of idly scrolling through your feed. And two, because there's an end-point in place, it prevents social media bleeding into an hour of screwing around online, leaving you with a slew of untouched to-do items.

Focus on your clients, not your freeples

It's easy to feel the need to respond to everyone, but instead focus on those who have already enrolled in your program and/or those who are likely to enroll. Why is this important? Because as my wise friend Kim says, there's such a thing as "freeples." Freeples are like the people at the grocery store who try all the free samples, and then when the product rep says, "Hey, these super tasty things you just tried are on special for five bucks," the freeple says, "Never mind, I'm full now." In short, they consume all the free shit with zero intent to put their hands in their pockets. And that's totally fine, everyone is welcome to enjoy your free videos, live streams and articles. Absolutely. But don't waste your time pacifying these people. Boundaries, people. Boundaries.

Emojis are your jam

We assume that everyone who comments on something expects a response. And if it's possible, then yes, absolutely respond in a warm, honest and heartfelt way. BUT if you're really pushed for time then remember the magical world of emojis. If a picture says a thousand words, an emoji says at least a hundred. I'm sort of joking. But honestly, posting a couple hearts in response will suffice. Still not convinced? Think of it this way - when you comment on something on social, do you wait around for a response? Or do you type it and then go off on your merry way and continue living your life? Most of us don't expect a response to every freaking thing we post in the online space. So stop people pleasing and save yourself a boatload of time.

And I'm not gonna lie. If I were typing this on my iPhone, I would sign off with a red heart and a kissy face.

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