Don’t get me wrong. I’m a big fan of social media. It’s a great tool to stay connected. In fact, I’m even trying to build a career through a blog, which is also a social medium.
But when we get addicted to social media, it really becomes counter-productive in doing our work and living our lives. Here are 9 things we can do to reclaim our agenda, be more productive, and live our real lives to the full (I’ll be doing these 9 things starting today):
- Don't check your phone, laptop, or any other gadget one hour upon waking and one hour before sleeping. Spend your first hour praying, goal-setting, and planning your day. Spend your last hour in gratitude.
- Turn off all push notifications from email, chat, and social media applications. People will give you a call in case of emergencies anyway. Don't even bother checking text messages. Don’t fight distractions. Avoid them.
- Keep your phone in a drawer or in your bag while working (as long as you can still hear phone calls).
- Don't log in to social media using your smartphone, laptop, or desktop (unless it’s the work that you do).
- Allot thirty minutes (one hour at most) of your day to respond to text messages, check notifications, accept friend requests, and respond to comments. I know you still want to. Because I do. For me, checking my social accounts will be from 12 noon to 12:30PM. I'm scheduling it now because if I don't do it now, I know I won't do it later.
- Allot one hour of your day to read and respond to emails (can be extended to two hours for important emails). For me, checking my email will be from five to six in the afternoon.
- Subscribe to your favorite blogs or websites via RSS or email and avoid getting updates through your newsfeed. Don't have an RSS reader? I recommend Feedly. It might be a bit confusing at first, but once you get the hang of it, it will save you from a lot of distractions. (If following blogs distracts you as well, schedule it. I think I need to schedule catching up with my favorite blogs from six to seven in the evening.)
- Use third party applications to post on social media if you really need to. This will help you avoid logging in to your social media accounts. Try Hootsuite or IF. These are what I use to post updates as well.
- Live a real life, interact with real people, and be awesome in the real world! Do exciting stuff. Write a book. Plan a trip. Whatever. Just be awesome!
How about you? What else can you add to this list? If you think you cannot do it forever, try taking a 30-day challenge. This might help you gain new habits or get rid of old ones.