We live in a world of excess, where overconsumption is the norm. With so many choices surrounding us, as well as a desire to try anything and everything we come across, we’ve made overconsumption a regular habit.
But this excess doesn’t just stem from consumerism and vigorous marketing tactics, it also stems from the belief that if we tackle our goal from numerous angles, then there’s a better outcome for us:-
If I use ten different hair products then my hair will grow faster and look better.
If I purchase the entire workout program and get all the gear, then my weight loss will be rapid.
Too Many Distractions
However, overconsumption and excess only serves as a distraction.
When you have too many choices that you want to indulge in, then you can never spend enough time exploring each choice. Instead you’ll get a taste here and a taste there, and you’ll realize at the end of the day that you are fucking starving.
Unfortunately, even when we realize that we are not getting optimum results for our time and money, we find it hard to make the necessary changes.
As a business blogger, one the most important pieces of advice I’ve gotten is to engage with my audience i.e. find out where they spend time online, talk to them, and position myself as a resource. This not only helps me learn my audience’s needs and struggles; it also drives traffic to my site.
So what did I do when I got this advice? Well, I joined every Facebook, G+, and LinkedIn group I could find. I joined Pinterest boards, Twitter, and StumbleUpon as well. EXCESS!
As a result of this ‘diversification’, I only spent a few minutes on each platform doing nothing more than browsing. I was wasting my time and I wasn’t giving value to my audience.
That’s why I made the decision to pull back. I left groups and social platforms that I couldn’t focus my time on, and I now spend time in the one or two groups with the highest potential. I can tell you that doing so has been a huge relief, but since it’s a relatively new decision I have no results to share as of yet.
But I can say that the sole G+ community I’m on gives me more engagement and social shares than the last 6+ groups combined.
While being everywhere and doing everything might give you a false sense of achievement, my advice to you would be to cut out the excess. Once you do this, you can build on the little you have and then scale as you gain popularity and credibility.
So how do you cut out the excess?
1. Make a list of all the products and services you are using to promote your business e.g. apps, tools, social media platforms, publishing platforms
2. Group together the products or services that perform a duplicate action e.g. one group for social media platforms, one group for productivity apps, one group for time management tools ,one group for publishing platforms
3. Compare the results of each product and service in each group set e.g. if you have a spot on HuffPost and Medium, figure out which publishing platform sends you more traffic, which one gets more shares, and which one gets more engagement
4. Once you have these results, choose the best (or two of the best) from each group and put aside the rest
5. If you still feel overwhelmed, repeat the process again with the products and services that made it past step 4
6. Focus all your energy on the products and services you have left. Exploit them to their full potential.
I wish you the best with this endeavor, and I hope you see the positive outcome of cutting out excess from your life. Remember:
1. Excess choice and overconsumption leads to lack of focus and dissatisfaction
2. Get rid of the excesses in your life and focus on what will give you maximum yield
If you liked this article, share it with your friends and colleagues, and drop me a comment letting me know of your experience with overconsumption. Are you struggling with excess or have you already cut it out of your life?
Thanks for stopping by today, and I’ll see you back here next Monday.
6 thoughts on “It’s Time to Cut Out the Excess”
Oh my God, I am always looking forward to your new posts. I would rather miss lunch on a Monday but read your great posts. I am very certain that many of our African governments and their institutions are suffering from the excess diseases. Narrowing it down to my experience, I too had a challenge in 2011 when I started blogging and struggled with excess platforms until I realised I was getting no results until I scaled it down to manageable options in terms of the number of platforms. Thanks Davina you are truly an inspiration.
Thanks Mwebya, that really means a lot 🙂 And I’ve seen the same excess and waste you’re talking about, hopefully we can develop a mindset of efficiency and effectiveness. I’m also glad to hear that you’ve found a manageable way to deal with your SM platforms.
I’m sure this post is a timely reminder for many, the easy way to see which social sites are sending visitors to your site and (hence where you should concentrate your efforts) is through Google Analytics, you can find it through the Acquisition > Social tab, mine shows me that so far this year Facebook and twitter combined have sent me 91% of my social traffic, LinkedIn 5% and a number of social networks make up the rest.
Thanks for the reminder Davina
You’re welcome Mike. Google Analytics is an amazing tool, unfortunately most of us don’t exploit it to its full potential. I wish you continued success with your blog.
Great post Davina, it’s far too easy to lose sight of the core activities that are going to add value to your business and help you grow when there is always some new technique or platform being touted as the next big thing. Your comments remind me of the saying Follow One Course Until Successful (F.O.C.U.S.) which I think has been a philosophy of many successful entrepreneurs in the past (and present) and something which I try to keep in mind if I feel myself getting distracted.
I agree Stefan. I’ve never heard that saying, but I’m going to keep it close now that I have. Thanks for sharing.