Social media, just like any other thing created by man, can be a blessing and a curse.

We rely on social media to get information, stay updated on happenings across the world, and stay connected to friends. The latter became more evident, during the pandemic. We would have gone bonkers, if not for the comfort of video calls, Instagram videos, Youtube, TikTok, and the rest.

But what of when it affects productivity?

What of the times, you wanted to write an article, but ended up jumping from one social media platform to the next?

And how can you leverage the benefits, without it affecting you negatively?

Well, here are some tips to guide you:

I once tried hopping over a gutter. But, because I didn’t mentally factor in the distance between the two platforms, I fell right into the gutter. This illustration fits with social media usage: if there’s no plan for it, you’ll dive deep into the various social media platforms, searching for new kinds of stuff that never seem to end.

When you plan your schedule, set out a time for social media usage. Only get on social media, when it’s time.

In this social-crazy world, we’re tempted to stay for hours on social media, because there’s always something new:

Pictures from friends. Rumours from E! News Scoops from the Kardashians. The list is endless.

Since there’s always something new, prioritize the information you wish to consume. And limit your combined time on all platforms to say 30 minutes to 1 hour per day.

If you have the same PC for work and personal use, notifications could be a distraction. The moment you click one, you’re led into a rabbit hole of several. And the endless cycle of checking your socials begins.

To solve this, create a separate user on your PC, specifically for work and close all tabs immediately you’re done with them.

Batch all related activities, and finish them in one fell swoop. For instance, you could batch all your social media content creation for one hour. Then move on to answer all your emails. And so on.

Back to my first tip.

When setting times for using social media, ensure it’s just after tasks that you must finish before the end of the day.

For instance, say you need to write 1000 words before the day runs out. You could start at 10 am, take a break at 11 pm, and continue at 12vpm. Then hop on social media by maybe 2 pm. Schedule the time for social media usage for 2 pm — just after you’ve finished your most important task/s for the day.

If you must keep your phone close to you, mute all notifications. You could allow audible notifications for work messaging platforms, calls from a few family members (for emergencies), and the likes.

Most times, social media deep dives start with a specific trigger. Find it, deal with it, and the job is halfway done. It’s easier than trying to redo your entire schedule from the get-go, but this would come later.

Around 90% of the time, we resort to rummaging through social media, when we’re bored or find nothing else to do.

Instead of doing so, get a hobby. A profitable one at that.

When next you feel triggered to begin a deep dive into your socials, engage in that hobby of yours. Could be painting. Or even woodwork. But whatever it is, you should have a strong emotional attachment to it.

After waking up in the morning, do something other than going through your phone, except if it’s an emergency.

Starting your morning routine by going through social media, only sets you up for an unproductive morning. Instead:

Take a walk. Pay a visit to the gym. Jog a little. Or take a shower. Whatever the case may be, just make sure it’s not your phone.

Also, you should consider getting a real alarm clock instead of setting an alarm on your phone.

We all have those areas around our houses, where we use social media the most. It could be in the loo, your bedroom, the sitting room, and so on.

You can take advantage of this, by limiting your use of social media to specific areas around the house. Leave out areas, where you need to focus.

Now, this might be really hard, for someone who has become so attached to social media. But you could start small. Say 6 hours, move up to a day, a week, and so on.

To end this:
Getting a hold of social media may take some discipline. You gat this. Make the hard decision, and take the bull by the horns.

Ciao!

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