So far in this series about common everyday distractions, we’ve looked at disractions caused by mobile phones and email. The next big offender when it comes to constant distraction is social media. Be honest. How often do you log into your favorite social media platforms? How many of them do you have on your phone and more importantly, for how many of them do you have notifications set up for? For most of us it’s more than we like to admit and for a few of us, it’s a serious problem that’s bordering addiction.
With social media, you’re really dealing with two different issues.
The first is the alerts disrupting you. This is easily fixed. Turn off the notifications and deal with what’s happening on your own time.
The second, and the more harmful way that social media distracts us from what we are doing is the constant need to check in. We use checking social media as an excuse or escape. Focusing on important work is hard. Social media gives us a quick escape. Once there, it sucks us in and before we know it, the quick one minute check turns into 20 minutes of mindless scrolling. Breaking this habit can be a little tricky, but it is well worth it.
Start by putting social media on the schedule. Instead of checking in all day long, set certain times of the day when you do it. Give yourself 10 minutes at lunch time and 20 minutes after dinner. If you use it for work, put it on your work schedule. Set a timer if you have to. Get out of the habit of checking in anytime you need a little mental break.
In extreme circumstances you can download software such as anti-Social, which you can set to block access to social media sites for a period of time specified by you.
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Till Next Time
Mike Gardner is The Time Doctor