How To Stop Wasting Time On
Time management is an everlasting struggle for many people and
especially for those of us who work full time and so on. We need to
constantly pay attention to how we are spending time or else we will
get entangled in work or household chores.
Why do we spend so much time on social media?
Our compulsion to consult social networks is driven by a
prevalent fear: FOMO (fear of missing out).
As humans, we have evolved to experience FOMO in order to
survive. FOMO is a regulator: it keeps us alert to join and follow
the group, which in prehistoric times was the only way to survive.
We are biologically programmed to ensure that we are part of a
“group,” whether our group is made up of our distant
college mates, our group of high school friends, or others with
similar political beliefs .
The problem is, with the advent of the Internet and social
media, we can “see what’s missing” 24/7 and have no control
and tradeoffs of our basic FOMO trend. FOMO forces us to spend hours
checking what other people are doing, and now it’s possible to do
this all day. Internet addiction is a real problem in today’s
society, but anyone can benefit from a social media management
strategy to avoid wasting time online when they are truly happy.
While social media can be fun, educational and motivational,
it can also easily become addictive. If you are looking for ways to
avoid getting bogged down in social media and wasting your time, try
the tips below.
1. Set Daily Goals
One thing that helps me not to waste time on social media at
work is to set myself daily goals. Setting goals, like writing a
certain number of messages, helps me stay focused.
To set my goals, I sometimes have a short planning session
with myself. I go through everything I need to do that day and use a
planner app to keep track of things.
Once I set daily goals for myself, I keep them in mind as I
start working on the projects on my list. When I have to check
social media for a task, I pay attention to my start and end times.
I know I have only limited time for work. When I’m done I
have to keep going or risk not doing everything I have to do that
2. Adopt a Routine
There are other useful tips to avoid getting bogged down in
social media. For example, you should adopt a routine.
Of course, not all routines are followed the same every day.
Some of the things I do on Monday are repeated on Wednesday but not
on Friday. Others only happen once a week.
But week after week and day after day, I have a normal routine
that I follow. Not only does it speed up my mornings, but it also
calms down my entire day. At the same time, it also saves you from
wasting time on social media.
Use the same principle at home as well. Put your phone away
and forget it to make the most of your home time.
3. Schedule Breaks via Email, SMS and Social Media
Instead of checking your phone for social media every time you
get a notification, try a different strategy: schedule breaks for
email, text messages, and social media, among other things.
It can keep you connected while you work and ensure that you
stay productive. There are many possibilities for this.
One option is to use a calendar. Your online calendar should
not only be used for planning business or personal appointments. It
can also be used to schedule media breaks by creating calendar
Start by planning a “date” for your break on social
media, text message, and email. Make sure you plan to do this for a
short period of time, eg. b 15 min.
Then set a reminder that sounds when you have five minutes
left. This will help you complete other important tasks and move on.
You can schedule these breaks several times a day. For the
rest of the time, ignore your notifications unless you’re expecting
an immediate response. This will prevent you from being dragged into
social media for a long time.
4. Use Time-Out
Forbes.com spoke to a blogger about her time management
strategies. According to Abby Lawson of the Just A Girl and Her
blog, timeouts keep her focused.
Abby went on to say that using blocks of time prevents him
from “losing the Facebook hole”. In other words, using
blocks of time will save you from wasting too much time on social
Time-out is used to dedicate a certain period of time to a
task or group of tasks. This time management tactic will help you
complete one or more tasks on your list without stopping.
Plus, time blocks keep you from wasting time as your brain
adapts to change from project to project. For example, maybe you’re
working on a task that involves Google Docs.
To work out the timeout for you, do all of your Google Docs
tasks one by one. Not only does your brain run faster, but you also
don’t have to open and reopen apps.
This will save you time and help you avoid breaks between
tasks when you are tempted to go on social media. Fewer social media
interruptions means fewer opportunities to get bogged down in social
media and waste time.
5. Set Timer
Set an alarm when you are on social media. After you’re on
social media, plan something you enjoy. Especially if it’s something
that takes you outside, even if it’s a small thing, like sitting in
the garden for 5 minutes or taking a walk around the block.
Whenever I’m in my office and want a little break, I sneak up
on the terrace to enjoy the view for three minutes and take a few
deep breaths. It almost sounds silly, but I urge you to try it and
see for yourself. The important thing is that you have a specific
infection that is very different from your laptop or phone.
Do you use timer for cooking and cooking at home? If so, why
not use the same method to stay on track as you work?
Whether you work at home or at the office, simply setting a
timer can help you keep track of your time. Knowing that time is
running out will result in you avoiding time-wasting activities. Of
course, I’m talking about social networks here.
Just take a cheap timer (I like to tick manual) and set it for
the expected amount of time it will take to complete a task. If it
shuts down before it’s done, you’ll need to reset it for about 5
minutes for it to complete.
6. Eliminate Distractions
Another easy way to avoid wasting time on social media is to
eliminate distractions. This means keeping your phone across the
room while you work. Or you can put it entirely in drawers, purses
or any other room.
Sometimes what is out of sight becomes out of mind. So,
keeping your phone out of range or out of sight can reduce the
temptation to waste time. However, it still lets you have your phone
close by in case you get an urgent call.
7. Deactivate or unsubscribe notifications
If listening and checking social media notifications is too
difficult, you can turn them off. But if that doesn’t work either,
log out completely.
This simple tip can save you an hour or more of productive
time each day. You have to manually log in every time you visit
social media, so there will be delays. This delay gives your mind
time to second guess and drag on social media at this point.
8. Delete the app completely
While this idea of escaping time sounds extreme, it may
be necessary for some people. If other methods fail, you may need to
delete all social media apps.
Gather your phone, computer, and every other electronic device
with social media. Uninstall apps on each one so you don’t waste
time reading or posting on social media.
9. Post on Social Media
When you need to use social media to get to work but other
tricks fail, there’s another option. You can hire a virtual
assistant to post on social media on your behalf.
This idea may seem costly at first. However, when you take
into account wasted time, it may be cheaper than you think.
When you’re trying to manage your time better, the last thing
you want is to get bogged down in social media. To prevent that from
happening, try some of these tips. They can be just what you need to
stay as productive as possible.
10. Set aside a specific time (or hours) each day to use social
media, preferably after doing some of the most important things on
your to-do list. You can also use this time as a reward for some of
the most inconvenient tasks of the day.