How many hours of your day do you spend on a timeline? One or other of the social media platforms, engaging with your connections and reading their posts? Do you ever wonder what impact it’s having on your mindset? I carried out a timeline health-check over the festive break, and I can already feel the benefits this is having after only a few days.

I remember new year as a child always included a clear-out of our bedrooms before returning to school. We were encouraged by our parents to give the toys we had ‘grown out of’ (I still miss my Snoopy costume and I don’t think Mary should have had it, but that’s another story!) to the Hammersmith Hospital.

My brother and I were told it helped to start the new year a fresh. I never knew what ‘a fresh’ really meant, but it felt good to put all the new things in clean, tidy places. Intentions were set, if not always achieved, to have a tidy room that year. Many people perform a similar ritual in their offices, now often home-offices. ‘Tidy desk tidy mind’ the saying goes; and I must confess I feel more focused and productive when I start with a clear space around me.

Planning a timeline health-check is simple and can be achieved one platform at a time.

Here’s what I did, and I hope it’s useful for you:

  1. Start by putting the list of your social media platforms in a list in the order of which ones you spend most time on.
  2. Starting with the most regularly used one, allocate 45 minutes a day for a week to review what is in your timeline and either comment on it and engage with it (to see more) or mute, un-follow or block it (to see less).
  3. Create a list of topics you want to learn more about in 2021 and spend ten minutes every day for a week looking for people or groups or # on these topics and adding them to your timeline.
  4. Write a ‘monthly focus’ for the platform. This can be as simple or detailed as suits your needs. I used three headings – Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook and then wrote what my focus was for each one. I used one word for each platform. If you have to write a paragraph, you’re not being specific enough.
  5. Make an ongoing commitment for how you will spend your energy on these platforms. And yes, I do mean your personal energy, as it can be draining if you don’t set limits and boundaries. The key thing for me with this was to remain engaged only with the timelines that benefit my mindset.

Now fill your timeline with new, positive voices to support your mindset

Once you have put the energy into clearing your timelines, it is a good idea to keep adding positive people to them.  Part of a productive timeline health-check is to create a more positive space, so add to replace the negative ‘noise’ you have removed. Most importantly of all, be a positive contributor to the timelines of your connections. The timeline you create online is your shop window and creates the first impression that might lead to new opportunities. As the wonderful Neil Giller would say ‘be a radiator, not a drain.’

I am enjoying my new positive timelines and noticing that my writing flow has been easier with fewer ‘I’ll just pop on and see what’s going on’ to engage in the dramas. My mindset is in safe hands in my new, less angry and more supportive timeline. How’s yours looking?



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