Most of us have been guilty of it. We get on Facebook, Twitter, PinInterest or GoodReads for a moment, and before we notice, it’s been hours and our plans for the day have been demolished. It’s especially hard for those of us who work at home and set our own schedules.
I know because I have a real problem with being drawn in by all the Internet has to offer. If I’m not careful, my plans to have a productive day writing will be demolished by the social media monster. It’s a battle I have to keep on top of.
But cancelling our Facebook accounts isn’t always the answer. Social media is important for promotion, keeping up with friends and family, and giving us a break from time to time.
Here’s 10 tips to keep this monster called social media under control.
1. Combine social media accounts. Most accounts, like Facebook and Twitter, make it easy to combine and interconnect. Do this, and you won’t have to keep up with multiple accounts. Just post a status on one media, and it will post on every other media.
2. Use Hootsuite. Hootsuite is a free online social media management program. There’s a paid version if you need it, but most people don’t. You can post a status on Hootsuite and decide on which media pages it will post. It also has a scheduling feature and is fairly easy to set up.
3. Turn off all game apps on Facebook. If you enjoy playing one game, then turn off all the apps except for that one. To do this, every time you receive a notification for a game from a friend, click on the X beside it. It will ask if you want to turn off all notifications for this game. Click yes. Also go to the left column, and click all apps. Then click the X beside the apps you want to delete. You’ll occasionally have to do this again because new games will pop up all the time, but it does help considerably.
4. Schedule a time to do social media. It might be a half hour in the morning or evening, but it will help.
5. Turn off notifications for social media on your iPhone. It’s very tempting when your phone is alerting you that someone you know just ate supper to be sucked back into it.
6. Go on regular social media fasts. Social media is addictive. It helps to keep that addiction at bay to have regular times where you spend a day without social media.
7. Turn off the Internet. We tend to think we can resist getting online while we’re hard at work, but it doesn’t work that way. Social Media is much less tempting if we have to work at getting to it. Use a program to keep you from being distracted by the Internet while you’re working. Freedom is the best one out there and only costs $10. Of course you could do it for free and just turn off the Internet connection.
8. Take a walk. The easiest time to get sucked into social media is when you’ve been at the computer for hours and need a break. When this happens, instead of clicking Facebook, get up from the computer and take a walk or do some other exercise. You’ll feel energized when you come back instead of drained and guilty.
9. Use a timer. Some people like to be on social media for block of time. Others like to check it a few times a day for only a minute. Either way, it draws you to stay on longer. Set a time period to be on social media, then set a timer when it’s time to get off. Here’s an online egg timer you can use.
10. Use accountability. Track how much time you spend each week on social media. Partner with a friend to ask each other about how much time you’ve each wasted. It does wonders when you know you’ll be asked to account for your time. You might even be able to call it quits on Candy Crush.