The Forum Timewaster

Continuing my occasionally series of thoughts on productivity, how much time do you spend each day in forums?

I’ll be honest . I generally spend more than I should around a series of forums, both relating to marketing and just to general areas which I’m interested in.

The fact is that forums often have great information and they consist of people who want to share their advice and expertise, usually purely for free.

But, often you can be drawn into a discussion. Then there’s the follow-up problem of checking back at a thread in which you’ve posted regularly to see if there have been any more comments.

Even worse, when someone disagrees with you, and then you feel that you have to go back to the thread and post a point-by-point rebuff on all the areas that the villian has posted. Suddenly that’s a big chunk of the day gone.

So, what can I recommend?

Pick the forums that you follow very carefully and choose a set amount of time that you’ll spend on them.

It’s best to schedule this for after you’ve finished your main tasks for the day. If you don’t finish your tasks, or you run behind, then no forums. Everything will still be there waiting for you the next day.

Limit your visits to each forum to once a day. If you make a post than that’s it. You don’t check back until your next scheduled visit.

Also, limit the amount of time you spend replying to any particular post. People much prefer reading short comments from a number of different people, so there’s really no reason why you should go overboard. A couple of minutes per post should be more than ample to get any reasonable point across. And, if it takes more than two minutes to put an argument together, it will probably go over the head of most readers. If they agree with you, other people will always expand from what you’ve said anyone.

What other tips do you have to be more productive when using forums? Feel free to share them.


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