January 18, 2016

How To Stay Smart In Your Downtime


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Businesses thrive on efficiency. But as people, we can get stuck in mindless habits — scrolling through social media feeds on our commute home or aimlessly flipping through TV channels – that can curtail productivity.

Hey, we’re only human (and we could all use a little downtime)…but is there a way to use the little downtime we have to get smarter?

As a financial services company, we know that downtime is essential to becoming a more productive and curious individual. Plus, with the influx of social platforms and networks, it’s becoming increasingly easier to access information at any and all times of the day. It’s also become the norm to use your “break time” to catch up on social. But just because you’re giving yourself a little break doesn’t mean you’re using your time to its fullest…

Now, don’t get me wrong, you are entitled to veg out, but remember: everything is best in moderation. And if you’re interested in getting more bang for your buck, you may need to become more aware of the way you are using your time. So take a look below at some of the ways you can still use social media in your downtime, but become smarter in the process!


Yes, we all love checking in to see how our friends (or those acquaintances from college and beyond) are doing, but if you find yourself spending more than 15 minutes on one person’s profile, you may need to reevaluate the amount of time you’re wasting on these sites. If you just can’t seem to quit social, here’s an idea: start liking and following more publications. You’ll get new articles directly in your Newsfeed and stay updated on breaking events in real time– even if the real reason you’re on the site is to see Becky’s new relationship (we promise we won’t tell).


Similar to Facebook, LinkedIn is a great tool to connect with those from your past, your current network, and new contacts. However, you can also get caught in the rabbit hole of profile hunting. But don’t fret! There is a way to balance this — take this idea: follow a few companies and industry mavens that catch your eye. These influencers write articles, post status updates, and use LinkedIn as more than a people-to-people tool. So try and use the network like these individuals — make it a people-to-ideas platform as well as a social platform.


There are plenty of things you want to avoid during your free time, and email may be one that tops your list. But if you’re interested in reading up on a few topics unrelated to work, email may be your best friend. Do you follow a blog or read a website daily, but find it difficult to take in all the information after a long day at the office? Well, luckily you have options. Many websites now offer subscribers the opportunity to opt-in to their newsletter via email. Why is this great? You’ll get the email directly in your inbox and be able to read up on the most talked about topics of the day (or week). In addition, you’ll have all of those articles (and their links) saved in your email, so you won’t have to go digging when you’d like to reference the piece.

These are just a few ways you can get your mind working while it’s taking a social media break, but there are plenty more. Start small and work these habits into your daily routine. You’ll benefit in more ways than one.

Are you prepared to handle the biggest challenges faced by business owners?

Don’t get blindsided by problems that other talented leaders have already solved.

We’ve teamed up with Dr. Hector Lozada, Professor of Economics at Seton Hall to survey business owners ranging from start-up founders to seasoned CEOs. What came out of it is a cheat sheet for sidestepping the roadblocks, bottlenecks, and challenges that plague your colleagues and competitors.

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