Tag Archives: Technology

Tips for Holiday Marketing on Social Media

 

Kelly Farrell - Teach Me Social -headshot (2)

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas! Social media is all a-twitter with holiday promotions, holiday party selfies and businesses competing for your business and spreading holiday joy! The social media world can become a very noisy place during the holidays, but here are a few ways you can ensure your small business can stay ahead of the crowd.

Hashtags

Using holiday trending hashtags can keep your business visible among your target audience. Choose hashtags that your target market is already using or might be following. By providing content that aligns with the current conversations on social media you can ensure that your brand will not be forgotten when people create their holiday wish lists.

Seasonal trends

Stay tuned to what’s trending this season and share content that shows your brand is in-the-know when it comes to what people are talking about.

Visual aids

Getting noticed is all about standing out. Create captivating graphics for your social media posts and blogs that are sure to grab people’s attention and make them want to click. (lighting, graphics, design, colours)

Ads / promotions

Social media ads are the most effective way to grab the attention of potential customers. You can create custom audiences of people who may have already visited your site or may already be on your mailing list. This allows you to focus directly on an audience who is already familiar with your brand and thus more likely to follow through with a sale.

Use email

Email is still the most effective way to follow up with customers and potential customers. Many email clients can connect with your online store to help you follow up with website visitors who may have “window-shopped” without finishing their order.  Try sending exclusive coupon codes to your email list for special holiday offers.

Above all, remember that there are real people on the other side of the network who are just as busy as you are this time of year. Present them with solutions to solve their problems and make their life easier. Stay social and engage with your audience online through relatable, interesting and engaging posts and make sure to take time to answer back!


To learn more about how to maximise the effectiveness of your Facebook marketing efforts, schedule a complimentary consultation with Teach Me Social. Teach Me Social owner Kelly Farrell has been helping empower Canadian Small Businesses through social media since 2012. Teach Me Social offers effective social media services which include training sessions and consulting as well as full-service social media account management.

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Dr. Helen Ofosu: Small Business Woman of the month of September 2016

Dr. Helen Ofosu Career Coach Outplacement Specialist Hiring Consultant

Dr. Helen Ofosu has over 15 years of experience in HR and Career Coaching in the public and private sectors. Part of what sets her apart is her foundation in Industrial / Organizational (I/O) psychology which is also known as work or business psychology. She brings her knowledge, sensitivity, and special brand of humour to her career consultations, outplacement, business clients, and speaking engagements. She helps her clients make the most of their skills, experience, values, and interests to build a satisfying and resilient career.  She’s also skilled at developing hiring processes that allow employers to understand what job candidates can actually do rather than relying only on what candidates say during interviews. This approach is based on competencies and behaviourally-based assessments.

Our Q & A with Helen:

*What inspires you?
Technology has leveled the playing field in many respects, but access to timely and
strategic HR advice on an as-needed basis saves companiesa lot of money and prevents many problems.

I am inspired to provide enterprise quality consulting services to small and medium sized businesses who would not have access to this level of service otherwise.
 
I understand that there are many coaching options available. In my experience, when the stakes are high, it’s essential to work with a coach who understands complex circumstances and can find an effective way forward. My MA and PhD training have given me the tools that are helpful when there’s no obvious solution to the problems at hand. I’m motivated to offer more than career coaching, it’s career psychology
.

*As a small business owner, what achievements make you most proud?
I love watching talented clients thrive when their success and professional fulfillment had been elusive in the past. This is true of businesses who had been held back personnel-related matters and it’s true of professionals and aspiring professionals who had been under-employed and unsatisfied in the past.

*What advice would you give to other aspiring small business owners?
Always honour your obligations; do what you said you’d do to the best of your ability on the timeline and budget that you agreed to. When you consistently demonstrate that you’re reliable and can deliver the expected results, you’re bound to succeed.
*What new things can we look forward to from your business in the upcoming year?
(1) This year, watch for me to work with more franchise (business) owners to help them expand with fewer setbacks.
(2) A very pro-active service called “Right-Placement” as a better alternative to Outplacement
(3) Details on both will be available in my quarterly HR and Career Coaching Newsletter
Contact Helen:
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When to follow technology trends in social media

Kelly Farrell - Teach Me Social -headshot (2)

There is a big difference between jumping on the bandwagon just because “everyone else is doing it” and adding a new tech trend as part of your overall digital marketing strategy. The rate of change in the world of technology, especially for business, is extremely fast-paced and keeping up with the new apps, website trends and social media features can be a very daunting task. Despite the challenges that come with keeping up, it can be very beneficial to be an early adopter of new technologies and digital shifts.

 

First come, first serve

The first users on many new platforms, websites or apps are usually privy to special offers and features. On social media, the early arrivals are almost always the first to develop a large following of other early arrivals, who also tend to be more engaged and loyal than new followers later on.

 

Work out the kinks

Getting on board with a new feature or platform also give you ample time to work out the kinks, a time when making mistakes are part of the game and adds authenticity to your brand. Part of social media is the allure of being able to see behind the curtain of a logo and glimpse the authentic personality driving the message. Working out the kinks and figuring out a new platform with other early adopters also sets you up as a leader and expert when the rest of the crowd follows you.

 

Staying Current

If your brand stands for ingenuity, creativity or innovation in any way, then getting on board and being part of the initial phase could play a huge role in setting your brand up as a leader in forward thinking. When your brand shares their enthusiasm by joining in on trending topics on social media, it shows your followers that you are current, relevant and engaged.

 

Beware of shiny things

All that being said, the biggest danger with new technologies is the “shiny things syndrome”! It’s happened to the best of us – like children, we are easily attracted to new things and can get sucked into spending hours playing with new features and testing out new toys.

 

To avoid getting sucked into new technologies that are not going to see an overall benefit for your small business, you can ask yourself these questions:

  • Will using this tool attract new customers to my business?
  • Is my target demographic already using this tool?
  • Will my business benefit from being part of a trending conversation online?
  • How much time can I afford to spend daily using a new technology tool?

 

If you weigh the pros and cons of each new tool, it becomes easier to identify trends that will have a positive impact on your business and ones that may not be worth your time investment. In most cases, it is always a good idea to get advice from an expert or other small business owners. Attending networking events and joining online communities (like Canadian Small Business Women) are great ways to know what other entrepreneurs are doing online and where they are focusing their energy.


Teach Me Social owner Kelly Farrell has been helping empower Canadian Small Business owners through social media for over four years. Teach Me Social now offers services ranging from training sessions for small business owners and their teams to full-service social media account management. Visit teachmesocial.ca to learn more about our service offerings or to book a no obligation consultation, including an audit of your existing social media channels.

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Toronto Panel of Experts: Canadian Small Business Women of the Month of October 2015

Kelly Farrell, Arti Sharma, Dwainia Grey, Cheryl Rankin and Catherine McGillivray are five dynamic women who will round up our Panel of Experts this year at our Toronto

Expo.  These women are experts in their own right and have made themselves available to support aspiring entrepreneurs.  The topic of this year’s panel is Women in Business and Technology.  The Panel of Experts discussion will take place at The Atantis Pavilion on November 8th, 2015 from 12:30pm to 2pm.  Admission is absolutely free.  Find out about our ladies below and for how you can meet them and ask your questions, go to www.immigrantsmallbizexpo.ca

Panelist Kelly

Panelist Arti Panelist Cheryl Panelist DwainiaPanelist Catherine

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Ottawa Panel of Experts: Canadian Small Business Woman of the Month of September 2015

Rima Aristocrat, Kelly Farrell, Catherine McGillivray, Praveeni Perera, Arti Sharma and Elcho Stewart are six dynamic women who will round up our Panel of Experts this year at our Ottawa Expo.  These women are experts in their own right and have made themselves available to support aspiring entrepreneurs.  The topic of this year’s panel is Women in Business, Technology and Healthcare.  The Panel of Experts discussion will take place at The Westin Ottawa on October 4th, 2015 from noon until 2pm.  Admission is absolutely free.  Find out about our ladies below and for how you can meet them and ask your questions, go to www.immigrantsmallbizexpo.ca

Panelists Elcho Panelists Kelly Panelists Rima Panelist Praveeni Panelists Catherine

Panelists Arti

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It’s Time to “TALK” about Social Media

Sheralyn

As the saying goes “unless you’ve been hiding under a rock” there is a very good chance that you’ve not only heard of facebook and LinkedIn but are an active and engaged participant on both. We are reminded constantly of the need to be on social media, to maintain a social media presence and to interact with our customers by employing this type of technology. How much is too much however? At what point does your message become de-valued, meaningless white noise amongst the clamor for customer attention? At the same time, how much is too much for you, as a person trying to conduct business? Social media has a huge role to play in terms of its ability to distract and consume your time voraciously in a non-productive way. Let’s talk about how much we “talk.”

The word “talk” was very deliberately placed in quotes. Why? Because today, due primarily to the influence of social media, we don’t do nearly enough actual talking.  Our interactions with others on a human scale are some days, literally non-existent while our “interactions” on social media are exhaustive!  Social Media has created a “doors wide-open” philosophy where we are encouraged to post, post, post, often times with little regard for the quality of the posting.  There are entire blogs related to how often you should post and the rule of three has become the norm:  post three times sharing information, tips, tools, techniques or free giveaways, before posting any targeted and specific attempt at soliciting business. The problem is we are often left searching for content of value, re-circulating posts that have already made the internet rounds several times over and which are, at best, tenuously related to our business. Currently, “curated content” is the new buzzword. Let’s look at what that really is. Curated content is regurgitated. It’s a nice word for taking someone’s work, cobbling it together with other similar posts and offering them up under your banner for public consumption. Often, I find an attention-grabbing headline has been shared to a page but when you click on the link, the content has nothing to do with the business sharing it. Clearly this is an example of someone not vetting content or sharing information of value but rather, a person simply caught up in the rush to post, post, post.

Original content is king and making sure that it’s laser-focused and related to your business is paramount. Self-employed entrepreneurs must fight for attention amongst big business so it is particularly incumbent upon them to ensure content is relevant. More so, it is critical that you don’t get caught up in the minutiae yourself, trawling through LinkedIn in search of content but getting sidetracked along the way looking at what all your old high school friends are doing now. The same is true with facebook. As entrepreneurs, with no IT department to block your access, and no one to answer to other than yourself, it’s far too easy to flip through facebook laughing at the antics of your nephew as he plays with that cute new puppy. Social Media for business requires both social responsibility and effective time management.  Set aside just 15 minutes twice a day to touch base with your followers. Be very regimented about that time (use the alarm on your Smartphone) and before you hit the share button employ the “pause and reflect” philosophy. Ask yourself “is this of value, relevant or potentially helpful to my clients?” If the answer is no, don’t share. If you haven’t even read the content, definitely don’t share it and if you really don’t have anything to say – that’s fine too. Just as in life, don’t “talk” for the sake of talk, but rather, talk when you have something meaningful to say. After all, you don’t want to be the person “blocked” by your customers because they were fed up with a continuous and largely irrelevant barrage of “curated content.”

As Owner and Principal partner of “Writing Right For You” Sheralyn is a Communications Strategist – working together with entrepreneurs to maximize profit through effective use of the written word. Looking for web content that works, blog articles that engage or communications strategies that help you get noticed?  Contact Sheralyn today. Sheralyn is also the mother of two children now entering the “terrible and terrific teens” and spends her free time volunteering for several non-profit organizations.

Sheralyn Roman B.A., B.Ed.

Writing Right For You

Communications Strategies that help you GET TO THE POINT!

416-420-9415 Cell/Business

writingrightforyou@gmail.com

LinkedIn / Facebook / www.writingrightforyou.weebly.com

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In Content Strategy, Your Customers are Users  

Arrow_Sign

In the second post in this series, I outlined why your governance model, or the “How do I do this?” part of your content strategy, is a good place to start planning. Over the next 4 weeks of this series, we’ll go through a full content strategy, and this week we’ll tackle the most important person in the content strategy room: your customer or as you will come to call him or her: Your User.

Content Strategy and User Experience Design

This week I attended a User Experience Design Conference, and I was struck by something that is important to consider as we embark on this month’s installment of your content strategy road map.  As the speakers at the conference described projects they had been working on and case studies of both successes and failures, I was struck by how there has been a real renaissance in the world of business over the last few years.  Now, so many businesses are taking a Design-Thinking approach to business planning and strategy.  And the lines between designing a business strategy, a content strategy, and a website are becoming very blurry.

Traditional business planning has often started with the product or the brand.  Now more and more businesses are taking a very customer-centric approach and taking pages from Design Thinking as they start their planning and strategy with the customer, or as we say in Design Thinking, with “Empathy for the User”.

Understanding the cares, context, capabilities and captivating factors of your User are the building blocks of a great business plan, and a great content strategy.

What is a “User”?

I am going to use the word “User” and not customer as I proceed to describe how we identify who they are, and create messages for them, in our content strategy.  Why do I use the word User and not customer?

It used to be that when we said “User” we meant only those customers who were going to your website.  But in his Book “Users Not Customers”, Aaron Shapiro makes the point that nowadays, every customer is a User, and thinking about them as Users allows us to always remember that they are coming to us for their own reasons, not ours:

“Users are defined as anyone who interacts with a company through digital media and technology.  There are lots of different types of users, and while they each have their own distinct interests and objectives, they all want digital tools to easily and quickly give them a leg up”, Shapiro says, “Today, a customer must be thought of in a new way: as one segment of users, one of the many types of people who interact with your company through the digital version of your organisation.  And they all want digital technologies to make their lives easier and better.”

Users aren’t just browsing, shopping, surfing.  Users are seeking value, utility, and help.  When we develop a content strategy based on empathy for that User, we need to understand who they are in a three dimensional portrait that we call a persona.

Personas: Not Just Demographics

Personas are detailed portraits of your users: usually you choose at most 3 or 4.  Personas are both an art and a science to create, because they are based both on facts or what your know about your Users AND they come from your imagination.  In order to create this three dimensional portrait of your User(s), you need to understand who they are across these 4 areas:

Care: What do they care about?  What are their pain points? What matters to them the most and what are the minimum expectations you’ll need to meet for them?

Context: In what context will they be when they find your website or social media?  This is not only a question of what device they might be using (for example, they might find you while using their smartphone on a crowded streetcar, or at their desktop computer in a cubicle at work) but also what time of day, what is their mood, their situation?

Capabilities: What are their technological capabilities? Are there any physical constraints they might have that will impact on how they are able to interact with you online (for example, are they older and therefore will very small text be hard to read, or might they have physical tremors that would make hitting very small buttons difficult?  Are they colour blind, as many men are?)

Captivate: This is the most elusive, but possible the most important area of focus.  What will really surprise and delight them? What are their secret desires that, if tapped into, will bring them un-matchable value and engage them in a real trust relationship with you?

How do I get to know my Users?

You can find out a lot about your users by looking at the analytics on your website, market research your company may have done, by speaking to your sales staff, or by examining competitor sites to “reverse engineer” who they are speaking to.

But to take a page from Design Thinking, the best way to get to know your Users is through observation: getting out there and meeting people, asking them questions and listening carefully to the questions that they ask you.

Can you observe your users using a competing product or even better your product?  Watching someone navigate your website is often a harrowing and eye opening experience.

And listen to what they say: jot down quotes and use their words, base your content strategy on their questions and their language.

Persona Templates

Having personas developed is not only critical for the development of your content strategy, you need them if you are going to have anyone else writing product pages or emails, blogging, or engaging in social media communications on behalf of your company.  Have them memorise the personas, and post the personas at their desk so they are always aware of who they are speaking to!

Here are a few sources for templates you can use to build your personas:

http://www.buyerpersona.com/buyer-persona-template

http://offers.hubspot.com/free-template-creating-buyer-personas

The Analytical Engine Persona Template

Your personas can be detailed or brief, but the main thing is that they are, for you, real: you want to have a clear picture in your head, and on paper, of who this person or these people are, because one of the biggest lessons to learn from the school of Design Thinking is: you are not your user!  You don’t want to design your content strategy for yourself, you want to design it for your users, to deliver value to them, to speak to them, to meet their needs at their level, and if you’re lucky and skilled, to surprise, delight, and captivate, and convert!

For more resources and information on Content Strategy and to download a detailed description of what content strategy entails, go to analyticalengine.ca/resources or download a Content Strategy Info graphic at http://bit.ly/1qY9tYp.

Christine McGlade is a Business Analyst, Content Strategist, and Usability Consultant.  With over 25 years experience in the media business, Christine helps small business, social enterprise, and Not for Profits how to leverage the power of the Internet to grow their business.  Learn more about Christine at analyticalengine.ca

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“B2B” Communications: It’s About Time!

Sheralyn

 

Funerals that offer “creamation” services and companies that say their products or services are “Quiality” – what is your first thought? It they don’t show this much attention to detail on services they are trying to sell us via the internet, I guess we shouldn’t expect too much in terms of their service overall. You might have thought from the title that this would be a blog about “Business to Business” Communications and in a roundabout way it is. But that’s the problem with abbreviations – not everyone has the same understanding of their meaning and a breakdown in communication is the result. What I really want to address today is more about a “Back to Basics” approach to communications. Concepts like “yes, grammar matters” and the lost art of conversation. If we are open to learning how to do these things well, it’s possible our “business to business” communications will improve too.

Spelling matters. Grammar matters. Most of us can’t parse a sentence and don’t know a dangling participle when we see one but we sure as heck know (or should know) the difference between “its” and “it’s.” If you don’t (and this is not shameless self promotion by any means) you had better hire someone who does! Your business might depend on it. Utilizing technology, we tweeted a query not too long ago asking for your input – does it matter to you if spelling isn’t accurate on a website. Would it deter you from buying a product or service if the website contained language inaccuracies? The response suggested overwhelmingly that consumers would indeed bypass a poorly written website, choosing instead someone who took the time to get it right. The perception is clearly that attention to such detail really does matter.

These results are not surprising to me, nor should they be for anyone. You wouldn’t expect your doctor to “sort of” be able to practice medicine and I’m sure you rely on your mechanic to really “get it right” when he is working on your engine. It only makes sense that the same level of care and attention to detail would go into the website that advertises these services yet it always surprises me how often this fails to be the case. Time after time we come across websites like the one offering “Quailty” repairs. The thing is, as much as I advocate a return to the basics, technology can actually help us with these kinds of errors because all anyone has to do is hit “spell check” on their computer! Sure it might not catch the difference between the correct use of “here” vs. “hear” but that’s where the B2B education kicks in.

Communication is so many things. It’s about listening, speaking and writing and it is about the “ability to express or exchange information.” (1) How we interact with one another in every aspect of our lives is governed by effective communications. To do it well takes plenty of practice. It is a skill we should continually improve upon throughout our lives. Entire courses on networking are taught to business professional and really, isn’t this just an opportunity to teach people how to have a conversation? We need such courses because so many of us have now become completely reliant upon technology and all the abbreviations associated with it that we have forgotten how to talk to one another. Indeed, we have forgotten how to look up and into the eyes of people who are sitting right next to us! We are rational (sometimes!) reasoning creatures gifted with the ability to orate and yet it is a vanishing art form.

Therefore, I dare to say this. It’s time we got back to the basics. Put down our tech devices and learn the ability to speak and interact with one another. Bring grammar back into our schools and teach kids that while efficiencies gained from “ttyl” abbreviations work in some situations, they do not work for all. We need to learn how to spell and how to put a sentence together the “good, old-fashioned way.” Technology is a wonderful thing but it is only as smart as the user and what we put into it. “Garbage in, garbage out” as the saying goes so let’s recycle those old school dictionaries and put them to good use. From the perspective of your business, here’s why it is so important. Research shows that 59% of consumers would not use a company that had spelling or grammar errors on their website and that fully 70% of people notice these mistakes and feel it shows “an obvious lack of care.” (2) Further, if the average person only spends between 10 and 30 seconds on your website, being memorable because of your errors is not the right way to get noticed!

In educating ourselves about effective and efficient means of communication without the use of technology we might then be better able to apply that knowledge when we do use it. Building a great, error free website that helps tell the world what you can do is vital. Technology IS important but so is how we use it. Communication skills: good for life – and good for business too!

 

(1)MerriamWebster

(2)realbusiness.ca.uk

As Owner and Principal partner of “Writing Right For You” Sheralyn is a Communications Strategist – working together with entrepreneurs to maximize profit through effective use of the written word. Looking for web content that works, blog articles that engage or communications strategies that help you get noticed?  Contact Sheralyn today. Sheralyn is also the mother of two children now entering the “terrible and terrific teens” and spends her free time volunteering for several non-profit organizations.

Sheralyn Roman B.A., B.Ed.

Writing Right For You

Communications Strategies that help you GET TO THE POINT!

416-420-9415 Cell/Business

writingrightforyou@gmail.com

LinkedIn / Facebook / www.writingrightforyou.weebly.com

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Are We Sacrificing Humanity for Connectivity?

Praveeni

A few years ago I was boarding a flight from Colombo to London, returning back to Ottawa after a business trip. The flight was taking off at an ungodly hour and I was in no mood to be chatty with anyone prior to take-off, so I did what anyone would do and decided to check my phone. I was in fact sending off some last minute goodbye texts to friends and colleagues. I didn’t even realize I was seated and being served a welcome drink until the flight attendant said ” staying connected ’til the very last second Ms. Perera?” In my attempt to “connect” with my friends I had completely shut out the world around me and disconnected with my surroundings.

With the influx of new technology aimed at making the corporate world more accessible to citizens everywhere all the time, we seem to spend a lot of time trying to “stay connected”. These days everyone’s got a blackberry, iphone, or another variety of smart phone that “connects” them to everyone else. But just how well do we know the people that we email, tweet, text, or add on Facebook?

In the corporate world we use social networking tools and social media to grow our networks and promote our businesses. Most professionals prefer to connect on LinkedIn but just how many of the contacts on LinkedIn have they actually met? Do they even know 50% of the people on their friend or contact list? I must admit I am guilty of this – I don’t personally know everyone on my social media profiles and I haven’t met all my contacts on LinkedIn in person.

We all seem to find it much easier to email a colleague about a report that’s due or finalize plans with friends over Whatsapp than to actually pick up the phone and call them. In person interaction seems to be at an all time low as new developments in technology are slowly making in person meetings a thing of the past. All this technology may not be a good thing for our own social nuances as we don’t see people face to face or interact with them in person, leaving us without the need to express emotions and exchange niceties. Sure we can write someone a nice a message or email but wouldn’t it be much more effective in person? Or even a hand-written note as opposed to a typed text? However with all the typing, texting and emailing I hate to think what everyone’s penmanship would look like, I know mine has certainly seen better days.

The constant need to “stay connected” can also remove us from the real world, as you can see from my experience. The truth is connections can be made online, but they are strengthened in person, through human interaction. After all isn’t that the point of networking events? Even though smart phones and laptops are invaluable assets to self-promotion and growing a business they do not trump one-on-one human interaction. The reality is we need to be able to see and speak to someone in person in order to trust them, gain their trust and buy or sell products. This concept might seem a bit archaic in a world of conference calls, virtual assistants and online shopping, but I think it’s time to get back to some real face-time – actually meeting someone face to face and having a conversation, before we lose our humanity.

Praveeni Perera is the CEO and co-founder of Professional Edge Consulting a corporate training company based in Ottawa offering training and coaching services to clients around the world.  She can be reached via WebsiteTwitterFacebook or her Blog.

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Infomania Could Be Making You Sick

Martina New

Technology and today’s widespread connectivity that is available any hour of the day, any day of the week and year, is supposed to make our lives more convenient and help reduce our workload and previously more time-consuming tasks. The truth is, it might actually be making many of us sick!

In a Global and Mail article on 29 March 2014, feature writer Erin Anderssen shared an eye-opening investigative piece in a week-long series on digital overload. In it, she shows the growing scientific evidence that indicates our state of distraction and “unchecked infomania” adds to making us physically and mentally ill.

Research from multiple experts at Stanford University, including experts on technology and distraction, shows that the convenience of constant connectedness has become a stress factor, and often even an addiction. The seduction of beeping or flashing cell phones, smart phones, e-mail, and social media sites is all too often irresistible. Yet, even though we seem to think otherwise, life does go on even if we don’t check and respond immediately to those interruptions. When we do, we’re paying less attention to the things that truly enrich our lives and in ways that electronic addictions rarely or never can do. Too often we allow devices to disrupt the flow of a good conversation, dinner with friends or family, playtime with our children or a relaxing walk with our dog, or even disturbing our personal quiet time or much-needed sleep.

Stanford’s Calming Technology Lab reveals that obsessive visits to Facebook have been linked to eating disorders and depression in teenage girls. In adults, dealing with never-ending e-mails or conducting web searches can cause users to take shorter breaths, or even hold their breath. This is called Screen apnea.

Here is my confession: while I do not consider myself a device addict, I do experience screen apnea whenever I hyper-focus for a long time on computer work, or when I flit between e-mail, web searches, and computer documents that I need to finish in a rush. My breathing becomes shallow, changes from a healthy diaphragmatic `belly breath` to a hectic – and to my body unsatisfying – short chest breath. When I leave it unchecked for too long, I suffer increased tension and stress symptoms by the end of the day.

Researchers at Kings College Institute of Psychiatry in London found that constant e-mail and social media use (unchecked infomania) even resulted in a temporary drop in the IQ of their study participants. Another survey shows that 22 per cent of adults have walked into obstacles while distracted by texting!

We laugh, but how often a day do you have to swerve around a walking texter, or even witnessed a pedestrian almost stepping out into traffic because they’re not paying attention at an intersection? I see both with disturbing regularity!

Anderssen`s article closes with the suggestion that we should think less about time management and instead consider more attention management. With that said, I will quickly submit this blog by e-mail, and then step away from my computer to make and enjoy a nice cup of tea.
Source: Anderssen, Erin. “Digital overload: How we are seduced by distraction”, Globe and Mail, 29 March 2014, F1. bit.ly/UnR5JY

Martina Rowley is the founder and operator of Beach Business Hub – THE co-working space east of the Don Valley. She combined her passion and experience in the environmental sector with her community engagement side to create a local work environment where space and resources are shared. She fosters and facilitates collaboration, networking, and learning for and with small business owners and new start-ups. Contact her at:http://www.beachbusinesshub.ca, on Facebook and on Twitter

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