Let’s be real. We are all guilty of picking up our phone, mindlessly scrolling through social media for a couple minutes and then we look up, and an hour of scrolling through social media has gone by. We’ve lost focus and gotten distracted from our to-dos because our mind is wrapped in scrolling through social media. What’s worse is when you pick up your phone, hit the Instagram app and scroll for hours without even really thinking about it because it has become routine. You find that you’ve been scrolling through Instagram for hours without any intention, and as a result, you wasted a bunch of time that you could have been doing something more productive.
It’s not social media that is unhealthy; It’s our usage, interaction and relationship with social media that can be unhealthy if we allow it to be. We have the power to control our interaction with social media so that it doesn’t interfere with our productivity. Here are 5 ways I’ve found that can help you limit your interaction with social media.
Set boundaries on your usage: Set time limits for your engagement on social media. For example, on workdays you may only want to spend 2-3 hours on social media throughout the day so that you aren’t consumed in it and are able to stay productive. Establishing boundaries and time limits helps you be accountable and intentional about how you spend your time.
Occupy your time: Find something productive to do to occupy your time. Find a new hobby that you enjoy. Read a book. Take a walk. Get physically active through exercising, yoga or Zumba. You get the point. Find something productive to do that occupies your time and mind so that you aren’t constantly thinking about or scrolling through social media.
Create an organized schedule: Set daily goals, create an organized schedule to accomplish those goals and stick to the plan. Creating goals and an organized schedule helps you stay focused and disciplined. Make your goals a priority so that you don’t get distracted or sidetracked by the desire to scroll through social media.
Hide your phone: If you struggle to stay off your phone and off social media, I suggest you hide your phone while you are working or focusing on something. Ever heard of the saying, out of sight, out of mind? That’s what I mean here. Sometimes if you don’t see your phone, then you aren’t thinking about it. Instead, you are able to focus on what is in front of you.
Turn your phone off: If hiding your phone doesn’t work, maybe you should turn your phone off and hide it while you are working. This suggestion may seem a bit extra, but if you aren’t disciplined enough to hide it and leave it hidden while you are working so that it doesn’t cause a distraction, then turning off your phone altogether may help you revert your focus to what you should be working on.