I’ll be honest with you, some days social media is the bane of my existence. I have so much I want to get done, but I pop over to Facebook to check on one small detail - and the next thing I know it’s an hour later and I’ve done nothing but scroll and “like.” Ugh! If my planner communities weren’t so important to me, I’d think seriously about quitting Facebook altogether.
Hopefully none of us has to get quite that extreme, though. Here are four ways to manage our social media interactions short of quitting cold turkey:
Put your phone in Airplane mode.
If you’ve got something that needs doing on a tight schedule, consider popping your phone into Airplane mode while you work on it. This turns off your wifi & data connections and prevents the jumble of notifications from getting through until we’re ready to focus on them. Just make sure you remember to turn it back on when you’re done with your task.
When possible, use the web instead of the app.
If you don’t have a practical need for realtime instant alerts, try deleting some apps off your mobile device and accessing those services through a web browser instead. All of your notifications will still be there where you need them - but they’ll be there on your time rather than demanding your attention at all hours. (Alternatively, you can keep the apps installed but turn off notifications for each one individually.)
Test out a site-blocking plugin.
If your distractions happen at your desktop more than on your phone, a site-blocking browser plugin might help. I use LeechBlock for Firefox which allows me to specify certain websites to block and what days / times I want to block them. This means that when I access Facebook from my laptop, it gives me two minutes to check my notifications before cutting off my connection and reminding me to get back to work. Other plugin options are StayFocusd (with no e!) for Chrome and WasteNoTime for Safari.
Unfollow everyone. Yes, everyone.
This is an extreme tactic that only works for Facebook, but if the above solutions haven’t helped enough, this last-ditch effort might: go through your friends list and Unfollow each person. Not Unfriend, but Unfollow. This way they stay in your friends list but out of your feed. They can still read what you post but you’re not wading through 7592658 new posts every time you log in. It has the added bonus of forcing us to be more intentional about our interactions if we have to deliberately visit a friend’s profile to find out how they’re doing.
What tactics do you use to manage your social media time?
I'm constantly amazed at the creative ways that planner girls come up with to stay focused. I'd love to hear about what techniques work for you. If you're interested in more ways to get organized and stay focused, sign up for The Rebel's Guide to Goal Getting for a free 5-day email course on planning for your goals.