Almost everyone I know has a social media profile these days. It can often seem like the place to be to interact with friends and share information. If you have a small business, social media can be a great tool to help you market and share information. However, social media poses some disadvantages as well.
It’s easy to blow a lot of time on sites like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter doing unproductive things. Scrolling on social media can get addicting but it takes precious time away from your day. According to Techjury, on average, people spend 2 hours and 24 minutes per day on Facebook, 40 minutes on YouTube, 30 minutes on Snapchat and 28 minutes on Instagram.
It’s important to note that all this time is likely not consecutive which means most people are having multiple social media distractions throughout the day. If you’re looking to get more done and spend less time on social media, here are a few ways to help you limit social media use.
Utilize the Alarm on Your Phone
One of the easiest ways to limit social media use it to utilize the alarm on your phone. Set a timer or alarm each time you get on social media so that it goes off just a few minutes afterward. If you usually spend 30 minutes scrolling on Facebook each morning, try to limit this by setting your alarm to 10 or 15 minutes.
Another option you may want to consider is not using the alarm on your phone – that is to help you wake up. Most of us use the alarm on our cell phone to help us get up each morning. The major downside of doing this is that it prompts to to just scroll on social media in bed once you get up.
Instead, get an alarm clock and put your phone in another room. That way, you can at least get of bed without getting tempted to go on social media.
Delete Your Apps
Of course, an easy solution would be to delete your social media apps. This may be easier to do for some people rather than others, but start with one or two apps then work your way up to deleting all social media from your phone.
Right now I don’t have Twitter or Pinterest on my phone. I’ve deleted the Facebook app and Messenger app before and it’s been extremely helpful. Without social media on my phone, it significantly cuts down the time I spend on those platforms.
If going turkey sounds like it would be challenging for you, try to commit to doing this for a day or an entire week. See how you feel and determine what you can do with more time added back to your schedule. This may motivate you to keep going and adopt a new normal that doesn’t involve excessive social media use.
Set Your Phone In Another Room
Maybe you can’t delete all your social media apps right now. Maybe you need to post and promote on social media. Or perhaps you in a few great Facebook groups that you’d like to stay active in.
You can still limit social media use without cutting it out completely. Do you often bring your phone everywhere you go including work? Consider placing your phone is another room when you’re trying to be productive to reduce social media distractions.
I have my phone connected to my FitBit so I can see when I’m getting calls or texts even thought I can’t respond. If I see an important message or incoming call, I may get up and go grab my phone. Otherwise, I leave it and address the call or message later. By having less hands-on time with my phone, I am less likely to waste time on social media.
There’s an App/Website For That
Limit social media use by using an app or website that will block your access during certain times of the day. Forest is a unique app that can provide visual motivation to stay focused and productive at work and at home. Create your ‘blacklist’ with a list of sites or apps that you want to avoid during certain times of the day. Whenever you stay focused on the task at hand, it plants a tree in the app. Over time your tree grows and you earn virtual coins.
Forest partners with a real tree-planting organization that plants actual trees around the world. When you spend the virtual coins earned in Forest on planting real trees, the Forest team donates to their partner organization to actually execute this in various areas. Forest also has a Chrome extension that you can use on your laptop or desktop.
Develop Hobbies That Don’t Involve Screen Time
Reducing screen time overall can also help you limit social media use. I know this can be hard since many of us use a computer at least 8 hours per day to work. However, you can start by participating in more activities and hobbies that don’t involve screen time when you’re not working.
Instead of watching TV, go for a walk or do something outdoors. Exercise at home, organize your space, plat an instrument, or create something with your hands. Even if you only spend 15 to 20 minutes per day on your hobby, this will still train your sub-conscious to get away from screens every now and then.
Have a Phone-Free Dinner Each Night
Some families have a ‘no phone zone’ rule at the dinner table and I completely understand why. Dinner time provides a great way to relax and reconnect with loved ones. Your phone and social media can be extremely distracting at this time and also feed existing bad habits.
The more you learn to set your phone down, disengage with screens and direct your full attention to the present moment, the better it will be to limit social media use overall.
Change Your Phone Layout
This is an easy change you can make. If you’re not yet ready to delete some social media apps, change your phone’s layout so that more of your utility apps show first on the home screen. This way you’re training yourself to prioritize the more functional apps first and even decide whether or not you need to open them in the first place.
Realize that it took time add social media usage to your schedule and it will take time and effort to limit social media usage as well. With this tips and actions, you can start transitioning to a more productive schedule and free up more time.
Choncé Maddox is a professional writer who recently left her job in the web design industry to produce killer content and manage her own writing business full time. She is passionate about helping entrepreneurs be more productive and create a life they love by doing fulfilling work. On the side, she runs a podcast and blogs about getting out of debt at MyDebtEpiphany.com.