Your day starts before the sun comes up and you don’t seem to get a break until well past the kids’ bedtime. Each day is filled with activities, chores, errands, requests, demands, and expectations. In between all of this, you still have to squeeze in time to blog, host a product party, find more sponsors, or complete another type of home business task.

Whether you use social media for networking, building your business, or promoting your blog, it all takes time. And with all the demands placed on moms, it can become more and more challenging to make the time for what can be seen as a “guilty pleasure.”

So how does a time-challenged mom outsmart the clock and find time for networking online? By following this busy mom’s guide to social media:

1. Choose Social Platforms that Make Sense

To get results on social media, you don’t necessarily have to be on every social platform. It’s best to do a little research up front and determine where the people you most want to reach hang out. If you plan to use social media for casual networking with other moms, look for the platforms, like Facebook, where more moms hang out. If you want to promote your blog posts and get more traffic to your blog, then Twitter may be the best venue.

It’s not required to be on all the major platforms at once. To save time, focus on the ones that give you the best returns and then use the extra time to get ahead in another area.

2. Plan Ahead

Do you know what you want to accomplish on social media? Are you looking to build a community, drive traffic to a particular site, or just meet new people? Determine your main goal and then you can better plan how you can achieve it. Plans save time, because you now know where to focus your efforts.

Planning your social media posts is another way to gain time. On days you’re feeling energetic and the creative juices are flowing, take several minutes and pen your best posts and tweets. You can compile them in a notebook, assign them to a specific date on your Google calendar, or schedule them on a social media management system like Hootsuite, Tweetdeck or Sprout Social.

3. Set Limits

Before you begin posting, set a goal for how long you will network on social media, then stick to it. No excuses. If it helps, use a timer to keep you on track. Without a time goal, it can be easy to get “sucked in” to the frenzy of networking, losing valuable time in the process.

4. Hire a Social Media Intern

If you network on social media for business, then hiring an intern may be a solution for you. Outsourcing parts of your marketing can free you up to work on other tasks that require more of your expertise. And it doesn’t have to be an expensive investment. Hiring an intern can provide you with the help you need and provide the intern with the experience they need. And finding an intern has been made easier with services like Youtern.com, a community that connects young talent with meaningful internships.

5. Resist the Urge to Compare

You may not immediately see this as a way to save time, but constantly looking at what others are doing can lead you down the wrong path. Best advice: let the Joneses go. You know who they are. They are those top mom bloggers in your industry that you can’t help but run into. They’re on every social platform and they seem to never tire of posting great content and building a large community of followers.

Always comparing can slow you down, hinder your creative ideas, and cause low self-confidence. Focus instead on your strengths, what your audience wants, and how you can provide it in your own unique way. Learn from others, but don’t fall into the trap of using them as your measuring stick.

What ways have you found to outsmart the clock and give you more time for social networking?