If you ever wonder how can you spend less time on social media – you are probably using it too much. We all use social media. It has completely changed the way we live our lives. It allows us to stay in touch with friends and family and make new connections with people from all over the world. But is has also become our #1 enemy of productivity. Because it is so easy to lose track of time when we scroll through our social media feed on our phones.
Let’s talk about 5 ways we can spend less time on social media.
But first, let’s get a REALITY CHECK
If you don’t think you have a problem with spending too much time on social media – check your phone usage. Because it tracks your usage and I bet you will be surprised on the results you will find out.
According to a recent survey, we are spending over 140 minutes per day on social media. That’s almost 2.5 hours!!! Every single day! And this does not account for the time we spend watching shows or playing games.
Let’s put that into perspective:
- 140 minutes per day
- 980 minutes per week
- 4,200 minutes per month
- 51,100 minutes per year
So we are wasting over 852 hours on social media every year. That is 35 DAYS!
What could you do with 35 extra days each year? If you ever found yourself complaining about how you don’t have time for anything – this is why. This is what is taking all of your time!
So how do we address this problem?
Turn OFF Notifications
The very first thing you need to do is turn off your notifications!
I cannot tell you how many times in the past I would stop whatever I was doing because I heard a notification on my phone. Was it a new friend request? Or maybe a new comment to a post from this morning?
It was so distracting!
And you know that once I checked what it was it took me at least 5 to 10 minutes to put my phone away. Because it’s almost never a quick glance! You get sucked in by the other random posts that you don’t really care about but just have to check out.
Turn off notifications for as many apps as possible. I only have audio notifications on for my messages. Simply because that is what I use to communicate with my husband throughout the day when we are both at work.
Besides that I have silent notifications on two other apps: one related to my mastermind group and one for my son’s school. I don’t hear the notification and it only serves me as a reminder to check on later when I have some time.
The reason why I don’t turn them off completely is because I would forget to check them altogether. They are not something that I need to check daily. But rather something that I use sporadically.
How is it working out?
I cannot tell you how much less distractions I experience now with this simple step. I will not say that it was easy! Because for the first few days it took some time to get used to it. I still wanted to pick up my phone ‘just to check’ what is happening.
But after those first few days, it was a game changer! I can easily forget about my phone for hours.
It is very freeing. And I am so much more productive!
RELATED: 5 Habits of Successful Working Moms
Create Some Physical Distance between You and Your Phone
If your phone is constantly within your hand’s reach – guess what? You will constantly reach for it!
I swear that the first instinct when I’m waiting for something is to grab my phone and check my social media. It might be when I’m waiting for a document to download or when I’m procrastinating working on a project.
But when I have to get up to go get my phone, it makes me stop and think. Do I really need my phone right now? Or more often than not, I will decide that what I really need is to get some work done. Social media is definitely not a priority at that moment.
Create New Habits
And once you don’t have the phone next to you to serve as entertainment when you are feeling bored or are procrastinating, you might want to start thinking about developing a new habit.
What can you do instead of reaching for your phone?
Maybe when you are waiting for your document to download you can quickly check your to-do list for the day and assess where you are. Or if you are procrastinating about a specific task, you can come up with an action that will only take you about 10 to 15 minutes to complete to get you started.
Even when you have a phone next to you, think of ways to use it for something else than social media. For example, when you are waiting in a doctor’s office for your visit, listen to a podcast or read a book instead of scrolling through your social media feed.
The idea here is to reprogram our brain from automatically reaching for our phone to check on social media.
Unfriend and Unfollow
The next think that will help you spend less time on social media is eliminating some of the unnecessary information from your feed.
Sometimes I would go on my Facebook on Instagram account to check on what is going on with my friends. But as I scrolled through my feed, I would realize that a lot of things that I am seeing are thought the pages I liked or people I follow. And a lot of it would be something that I’m not at all interested in. So I would waste a lot of time just scrolling through my feed to get to the information that I was really interested in.
So go through your social accounts and unfollow accounts that you are no longer interested in. This is also a good time to get rid of any negativity in your life. If you find yourself aggravated by the posts listed by a friend of a friend that you have connected with on social media – unfriend them!
You want your social media space to be one that is positive and encouraging. Negativity will only make you feel discouraged and unmotivated.
The next trick to spending less time on social media is to delete some applications from your phone. When you turn off your notifications on your phone, you will notice that you don’t really use all the apps that you have.
So delete anything that you no longer use. In most, if not all, cases you can access that same information on your computer if you need to in the future. But there is no need for the rarely used social media apps to clutter your phone.
Sometime we just check them just because there are on our phone! So eliminate that time waster by deleting the application all together.
RELATED: 10 Biggest Time Wasters in 2019
Be Intentional with the Time you Spend on Social Media
The last tip that I have for you to spend less time on social media is to be more intentional with the time you spend on social media.
There are two ways to do that. The first one is to have specific times of the day when you check your social media. Maybe that is lunch time and evening time. Or maybe that is on your commute home from work to help you unwind after a long day. This will help you develop a habit of only checking social media during the designated times.
And the second way to be more intentional with your time when you are on social media is to set timers. If you constantly find yourself losing a lot of time on social media, set timers on your phone for a specific amount of time. When the timer goes off, it’s time to put your phone away. This might sound like something we do for our kids, but this is a great way to become more aware of how much time we really spend on social media.
Do you believe you spend too much time on social media? Do you have tricks up your sleeve to kick that habit to the curb?