Here’s something you can do to jump start your year, clear out your inbox and make better use of your time in the social space next year.

Start opting-out.

Take a few minutes to assess every piece of email you receive that comes from someone who promised to teach you how to become an internet marketing genius, double your number of Facebook fans, guarantee that you’ll get 15 retweets per day by following 8 simple rules or any other claim that simply did not deliver.

You’ve waited and waited for that one email that would give you the idea of a lifetime but it didn’t come. It probably isn’t coming. Perhaps you’ve received one valuable e-mail blast and the other 11 were crap. Why continue to reward this person with a personal invitation into your world? They wanted your email address for their own gain, not yours.  You gave them a chance and they didn’t meet your needs, so let them go. This is YOUR time we’re talking about here.

After my book was published earlier this year, I opted in to all kinds of emails from experts who knew how to get me super publicity. I dialed in to a few teleseminars and even participated in a webinar or two. It was all junk. Regurgitated junk and empty promises, week after week.  There was one gem though. A woman who offers great practical advice on book marketing. I was so impressed with her that I paid for one of her information products on how to get your book in libraries.  It cost $19 and I am happy to say that after following her advice to the letter, I did get my book in a few libraries and learned how to navigate the bureaucracy. That was worth it,

But back to the topic at hand….

Opt-out of communities that have turned into ghost-towns. If there is no community manager there contributing content, why should you? Stop subscribing to daily roundups of all 30 LinkedIn Groups you belong to. Choose the most relevant. Or at least make some weekly instead of daily. You’ve seen most of those article posts on Twitter anyway.

Close your twitter client sometimes. Yes they are time-savers, lifesavers and provide us with the elixir of connectedness, but taking a break is a good thing. If you’re monitoring brands as part of your job, I understand that this may not be possible, but try to remove yourself every once in a while.

If you don’t use Plaxo or any other number of seemingly dead-in-the-water social networks, close your account or at least stop the emails from flooding your box. Check your email settings on Facebook and stop the floodgate if it’s pulling you away from your daily work routine.

Don’t say yes to every social media related invitation. Look for value. If you don’t value your own time, how will others?

I know that much of this may seem anti-social but if you’ve been deep in the trenches for a while, you have some idea where you can make cuts.

Make 2010 the year you work smarter.  And stop trying to keep up with the geeks.