Social Media Housekeeping, and How Can I Work 4 Hours a Week?

Just a few minor things:

I read all your comments and tweets
Firstly, when I meet blog readers, I often ask for feedback, to me the constant feedback reinforces what I’m doing right, and what I can improve and grow on. Today, one reader suggested that I make sure to close the feedback loop when it comes to comments. While we both agreed that it’s impossible for me to respond to each comment, I want you to all know that I read each and every comment. Why? it makes me smarter around topics that I’ve initiated, so thank you all for that. If you can’t tell, I try really hard to listen, I just can’t always respond to all messages.

I’m not adding any more new Twitter followers
Secondly, I won’t be adding many new followers on Twitter. I’ve noticed a massive influx of new Twitter users (perhaps due to SXSW) and will no longer be following those who are following me. I can’t click on that many emails, and It’s not offering me any additional value as my message stream is already very large. It matters little as you can still @jowyang and I’ll see your message. Sam Lawrence did analysis on my Twitter behavior (even on a Sunday) and noticed that about half of my tweets are @replying to others.

How can I scale?
The trend here is that I’m having a hard time scaling, but I’ve nearly completed my clone in my bio-vat in the garage, so there will be another Jeremiah appearing soon, well, I wish. I’m trying ways to stay efficient, I’ve reduced the amount of time I spend answering non-essential email, and downloaded Xobni with limited satisfaction.

At some point, I may have to follow Tim Ferris’s advice (although I’m a big skeptic) and start outsourcing some of my life, see his video. I’d start with email, then editing some of my reports for grammar.

  • It works. One of the first tricks in Tim’s bag is to view your personal time the same as your work time and figure out if there are things there that can be automated, eliminated, or outsourced as well. Email always seems like a low-hanging fruit, but sometimes it’s things like errands, housework, or other stuff that can free you up for some better use of your time.

    Closing the Twitter loop is a good way to cut down on inputs (as Tim refers to this, ELIMINATION) and I wouldn’t be surprised if there were other types of inputs that could be eliminated–be they magazine subscriptions or things you don’t enjoy as much as you once did. Then again, you get a lot done so maybe you’ve already considered what to eliminate.

    Anyhow, outsourcing DOES work. You just have to pick your projects wisely and try out people with small projects first. Believe it or not, our company has had fantastic luck with outsourcing our RESEARCH–not sure if that would work at all for you given your job…

  • Great question on whether I think I could outsource 36 of my 40 hour work week. And as much as I think I actually could figure out how to outsource maybe up to half I think my employer wouldn’t appreciate the thought that although they were paying me for a 40+ hour week, I wasn’t actually doing the work. Somehow I think I’d get called out for cheating. And as our HR Manager there’s only so much I could possibly outsource. Should they decide I could hire an assistant that would be an entirely different matter. And it sounds as if you and Shel have had a similiar thought pattern regarding following more users on Twitter. It’s tough right? But I know that many of us find your insight and participation refreshing and thought provoking. Keep up the great work, Jeremiah!

  • Jeremiah,

    I have tried three different VAS to handle my email and none took. I am not giving up looking for the right person. Twitter is just fun and education for me. I thank you for a big part of that.

    There is no way for me to outsource my work. I love what I do. If I could clone myself, I’d still work 12 to 16 hours a day.

    Joy~

    Jeanette

  • I would need to outsource about 70 hours a week for me to work a 4 hour week. I have this personality that I need my hands on everything

  • On behalf of Mr. Bernard, Jeremiah thank you for your post. I have been twittering on behalf of Mr. Bernard for a few short months now and have often wondered how many friends might be too many. Based on my analysis of your current 5275 twitter feeds you are following, I will report back to Mr. Bernard that 5000 might be too many.

    Now, where is that number to Mr. Bernard’s satellite phone?

  • I totally understand why you can’t add any more people to follow because you focus on two-sided communication. There is only so much one person can do.

    Of course those folks like Tim Ferris who only talk and never listen (he follows NO ONE on Twitter) can quite easily handle as many followers as will put up with the constant one-way communication.

    Thanks for all you contribute. It is appreciated. Please get your bio-clone to work soon =:)

  • Sound advice…my problem is letting go…I was able to turn all of the groups I use to pamper potential customers, over to competent moderators..that freed up some time…may consider the auto-reply Tim suggested for email.
    I doubt if I could outsource my work. Hands on creations…I would spend more time trying to interpret what I want than actually just doing it…
    The podcast network concept was designed to keep me from having to come up with content as often. The goal is to find 20 contributors…I have 5 so far…I change content weekly…
    Great food for thought
    thanks
    cj

  • You definitely need to outsource your life. I did. In fact, I’ve been doing it for years. The real Chris Yeh is retired and living like a king in Patagonia.

  • Chris Yeh, that explains a lot 😉

  • In all honesty, I’m not sure how you keep up as is. I doubt you’ll be able to get your work week down to that elusive four hours, but there is a lot of value in what Tim writes about. Mostly, it’s about identifying what gives value and what doesn’t, and then spending your time on the valuable stuff. I don’t know if hiring a VA is the way to go, but if it gives you more time to spend on the important stuff (to you), then I’d call it worthwhile.

  • why do people always go overboard when trying to make a point or change something. 40 hours to 4 is crazy…why not say “outsource to a 20 hour work week”. most of us would be happy with a 20 hour work week and think it is possible, but 4, come on that’s crazy…

    I do like his geek diet though!

  • I don’t want to speak for Mr. Ferriss but that just the books title and not the number of hours he actually works.

    I’m > 80% sure I read that in a reply to a comment on his blog…

    Cheers.

  • I agree with the people who say you can’t cut out everything, and one of the things that make you unique is that you do talk back to people who talk with you.

    I outsource a lot, still stay busy!

  • Jeremiah,
    The idea of ‘outsourcing some of my life’ is great.

  • Not sure if you’ve read the whole book – but I thought his suggestions to outsource online dating (as he did) and eventually communications with his wife were a bit over the top.

  • Have you read 4-hour workweek?

    Lots of people comment on the ridiculousness of some of the things he says (4 hours, the whole “wife conversations via VA”). The truth is, he’s over the top in many respects, but he does this for a very specific reason. He is asking people to stretch their boundaries in some pretty extreme fashions.

    If he had titled it “the 20-hour workweek”, it would’ve been met with mild success, but 4 hours is “over the top”. Honestly, most of us would do with 3 days / week, but you have to start by thinking big.

    Here’s a great link off the Life Remix feed. Great people don’t necessarily work 60 hour weeks. I have a bookmark here from a scant 9 days ago where you talk about e-mail consuming you.

    Jeremiah, you’re simply on information overload and you’ve stressed the ability of your own brain to correctly process and manage all of this information.

    Maybe it’s time for a different tool. You’re already using this blog as a dumping ground for your thoughts, but it might be time to give yourself a wiki (or a OneNote notebook). It doesn’t even have to be public, but you have so many items of relevance that you basically need a dynamic filing cabinet. A blog isn’t very good at doing that, a wiki certainly is.

    Here’s where I would start.

    Go to pbwiki, sign-up for free and start wikifying: White-Label Social Networks, Major English Social Networks, Major Widget Providers. You already have these lists. Then hire a VA to spend two hours / day (that’s like $4-40 / day) reading news feeds (like Mashable, SNC, etc.) and updating existing profiles for all of your information nodes.

    Tweets and posts and e-mails are horrible tools for weight and context. Give yourself a place to assign weights.

  • I wish I could outsource my day job and just do freelance content marketing full time. Unfortunately, I don’t have time to develop the business just yet. It’s getting there though. I can’t wait!

  • Pingback: Outsouring And Using A Virtual Assistant For Fun And Proft. | 7Wins.eu()

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