Redefining productivity

And 13 ways to use Instagram for your small business

Redefining productivity

Today’s Thoughts section has two byline links about social media marketing in the end so I thought (haha) that I’d be more reflective in a non-marketing essay.

I don’t know what to write about SCA’s decision to move forward on Expo that hasn’t already been said. Any of these reasons are good enough to cancel: pandemic, Hurricane Ida, the local coffee community asking for the cancelation.

  • GoFundBean (disclosure: I’m a board member) is raising funds to give to hourly coffee workers who were impacted by Hurricane Ida. I am linking the IG page because there are resources in the stories and several different ways you can help – including sharing about it!
  • Facebook Knows Instagram Is Toxic for Teen Girls, Company Documents Show (ungated version) - if you can’t access it, here’s a tweet thread from one of the writers.
  • I’m on a podcast! Ever Meister interviewed me, Tymika Lawrence, and author of a book on corporate apologies John Kador for an episode about apologies. Listen to or read the transcript of In Good Taste, Episode 5.

Finally, I included two links about TikTok/Reels because you might be one of those people who’s wondering if either are worth it.

Featuring my own work & press

Redefining productivity

I used to be one who wanted to “hack” my way through productivity.

If I woke up earlier, I’d have more time to get things done. If I did tasks in 20-min chunks, I’d find that creative flow. If I planned my day out in the morning and then recapped my day at EOD, I’d know what to do.

When I worked in an office, productivity was examined through several different numbers and equations that removed all human components. It didn’t matter if maybe someone was sick one day or maybe one task was significantly more difficult than another – the number still came out to one.

Plus, it’s a product of culture and capitalism that drills how important it is that you be productive. If you don’t fill every minute of your day doing something, you’re wasting time! Or so I believed.

“Now we casually ask individual knowledge workers to undertake similarly complex optimizations of their own proverbial factories, and to do it concurrently with actually executing all the work they’re attempting to streamline,” writes Cal Newport in a New Yorker article about productivity. “Even more troubling is the psychological impact of individualizing these improvements.”

A few months into the pandemic, I tried out a new thing. I was going to take a long lunch break. It was either going to be a long walk at a dog park that happens to have trails and a small lake or in nearby Golden Gate Park. This served a dual purpose: Zoey got her exercise in and I got the benefits of both exercise and being in nature. Taking the time out of the work day actually made me better at work. I was able to think through problems on the walk or clear my head so I could come back refreshed.

I know that being productive means different things to different people and that an hourly worker would have a different perspective on it than a salaried one.

What I wish for is for companies to take a look at what being productive actually means. Is it checking off tasks? Is it providing tools to more easily check off said tasks? And then what you, as an individual, define as being productive. Is it an internal yardstick that needs to be snapped? Do you count doing nothing as being productive?

I’d love to do nothing for several weeks but unfortunately, doing that for so long would not help me pay my rent. Instead, I make do by creating my own toolkit (like my long lunch walks and doing jigsaw puzzles) to help me be more “productive.”

13 Ways to Use Instagram for Small Business

[BYLINE] Trying to market your small business on Instagram? Here are 12 simple tips to amp up your Instagram marketing strategy.  •  Share

Twitter Metrics: How & Why You Should Track Them

[BYLINE] Do you know which Twitter metrics are the most important to track? Learn how to get more effective business insights from this guide.  •  Share

Quick text updates & links on what's new on the networks

Quick text updates & links on what's new on the networks

Twitter is now taking applications for turning your account into a professional profile. You will need a physical address that you want people to visit & I’ve already checked to make sure that “cafe” is a category you can select. FAQ/Applications here. It launched invite-only Communities and Super Follows. It’s testing a feature that allows bots to label themselves as such and emoji reactions on tweets. And finally, it’s working on an archive tool for your old tweets.

Instagram is testing a map search tool where users can discover local businesses, a montage feature to convert stories to reels, and a “favorites” audience tool. It also updated its verification application.

Helpful links on how to improve your digital marketing

Helpful links on how to improve your digital marketing

Experiment: Do Reels Perform Better Than TikToks?

Experiment: Do Reels Perform Better Than TikToks?

If you want to reach people who don’t already follow you, which format is better: Reels or TikToks? We set out to find out.  •  Share

Instagram Reels Tutorial: 10 Editing Tips You Should Know

Follow this beginner’s Instagram Reels tutorial to learn how to edit your videos and start creating engaging content.  •  Share

How to Create, Test, and Qualify Cold Facebook Ads Audiences

Discover how to effectively target new cold audiences with your Facebook ads.  •  Share

Anything I've enjoyed reading recently

Anything I've enjoyed reading recently

Return To Little Pakistan: The Reign of Terror in Brooklyn after 9/11 - by Spencer Ackerman - Forever Wars

Return To Little Pakistan: The Reign of Terror in Brooklyn after 9/11 - by Spencer Ackerman - Forever Wars

Pundits and politicians declared America united while “unity” preyed upon New York City’s Muslim communities. We must never forget. Part 1 in a series  •  Share

The Surprisingly Big Business of Library E-books

Increasingly, books are something that libraries do not own but borrow from the corporations that do.  •  Share

How narcissists climb the career ladder quickly

People with a high degree of narcissism get promoted faster, new research shows. Why?  •  Share

An update from my container garden!

An update from my container garden!

Senecio herreanus 'Purple Flush' (string of bananas) growing happily out of a 3D-printed pot, shaped like a trash can. I have the accompanying lid somewhere.

Senecio herreanus 'Purple Flush' (string of bananas) growing happily out of a 3D-printed pot, shaped like a trash can. I have the accompanying lid somewhere.

What'd you think?

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By Jenn Chen

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