Today I want to talk about social media and how distracting it can be. More to the point, I’m want to talk about Facebook. So here goes. I’m Amanda and I’m a Facebook Addict. God, just typing that makes me realise just how much of my time is wasted on this social media platform. Take today for instance. I turned my laptop on just after 9am when the kids went to school. I was just doing my normal check, looking at notifications, posting to pages, and my writer group. Yep, that’s what I said to myself anyway. It’s a lie. Facebook is my number one procrastination tool. It’s always there and always at hand whenever I want to waste some time. In recent months, it seems to have escalated though and when I found myself still scrolling at 12.20pm, I knew it was time to make a change.
Now like everyone else I know, I promise myself a quick scroll, a few updates and then I’ll do my work. Unfortunately, it never seems to work out that, a quick scroll is never just a quick scroll not with everything you can do on Facebook. After checking notifications there is always the little peak to see what friends are up to, who posted new pictures, what the family is doing, and of course, a little snoop where you shouldn’t be looking. It’s just the way it is.
For me, I manage a number of pages so I like to try and update them. I also have a secret group of my writing friends where I share new calls for submissions, writing tips and advice, competitions, and so forth. Of course with Facebooks algorithm, there is always another journal to look at, a new blog post in my feed, open mic nights, book launches, you name it, the more I like these stories and pages, the more that show up. All in all, time slips away and I have found myself time and time again panicking at 2pm knowing that I’ve no work done and the kids will be home from school in an hour.
It really is becoming a strain on my time and a strain on my work. All those hours scrolling when I could be writing. So today I decided it was time to do something about it. I made the decision while having a cup of tea and then I just had to have one more scroll before I hit the little X in the corner.
I don’t know what it is, whether it’s the thought of missing out on something or just that I’m procrastinating but once 2pm came and I turned Facebook off, I got more work done in an hour than I had the entire day.
Now I know there are people who swear Facebook games are the biggest waste of time but let me just say that you’re wrong on that one. With most of the Facebook games you only get 5 lives and once they’re gone you can’t play anymore until they build back up. Now if my Facebook feed had a built in feature where I could only scroll so far, I’d be fine, but unfortunately, it doesn’t and all I have to do is click the refresh button to get more and more stories and videos to keep me browsing even longer.
Of course, Facebook isn’t all that bad. It’s social media, you get to catch up with friends, keep up to date with what is going on around the world, market, make new friends, and so much more. In fact, taking this into account Facebook is great. It’s just not great for me when I’m trying to work. So in a bid to get more work done and procrastinate less I’ve come up with a plan or should I say a few tips to help me stay focused and beat my Facebook addiction.
My Top Tips For Beating Facebook Addiction
Keep Track of the Time You Spend on Facebook: How long do you spend on Facebook? Do you even know? Starting from tomorrow I am going to make a note of the amount of time I am spending on Facebook. I plan to keep a log of the time and what I am spending the time doing. Am I being productive? Am I scrolling because I’m bored and procrastinating? Am I commenting, reading news, posting to my pages? Whatever I’m doing I am going to take note of it and then assess it after a week.
Decide How Much Time You Can Spend on Facebook Each Day: This one might be a little bit harder but I am going to allow myself 30 minutes in the morning to check notifications and post to my pages and groups. After that it’s work. I will treat myself to 10 or 15 minutes at intervals during the day. I know it is probably going to be hard to stick to this but I also know that from Monday to Friday I need to be strict with myself.
Have a Facebook Free Day: I read this on another post and I’m still not sure how it will work out. I mean I have Facebook on my phone so I don’t even need to turn my laptop on. Although in saying that, most of my productive Facebook time and my procrastinating is done with my laptop. In the evening, I maybe only scroll for a minute or two on my iPad. I’m not looking for a distraction.
Silence Notifications: This is something that I have already done on my phone and iPad because they annoyed me. I don’t want to hear my phone or iPad beeping every few minutes. I should also turn them off on my laptop because they are very distracting when they pop up when I’m in the middle of typing an article, especially when I can’t ignore them. When you get a notification to say someone has commented on a picture or post you made, you want to see what it is.
My Big Aha Moment From Writing Today’s Post
So that’s my tips. My big takeaway, however, is this: If you find yourself wasting hours every day on Facebook or any other social media platform you need to stop and ask yourself why. I did this today and spent some time really questioning my behaviour. I knew I was procrastinating and that I was using Facebook as an avoidance technique. I was avoiding having to write for myself and I was avoiding writing my client articles because they are not something that I want to spend my life doing. I want to write for myself. I want to hit the New York Time bestsellers list. I want to write when I want and what I want. Of course in order for that to actually happen, I need to write and if I’m procrastinating all day on Facebook, I will never reach my goals.
You see the big thing for me is rejection. Fear of my writing not being good enough. Fear of being laughed at or ridiculed. Fear of criticism. Fear of never reaching my goals. And of course, we fear the easiest way to stop it from happening is – you guessed it – don’t write.
So now I need to face my fear and do it anyway. I need to make time for my writing and write just for me. Remind myself why I love it, and how it makes me feel. This is why this 30 Day Blog Challenge has been so good for me. I am having to write a blog post every day and I am loving it. I never know what I’m going to write about until I sit down and then I just let go. I allow the words to just flow and let the rambling thoughts in my mind pour out. I’m sure some people will hate it and you know what, that’s okay. I am writing because I love to write and if my past couple of posts have proven anything to me, it’s that I need to take my own advice and follow my dreams.
Until next time,