Social media is a staple in today’s culture. It is also a huge time suck. Do you find it difficult to figure out how to stop wasting time on social media?
As someone who encourages moms to use their time wisely, I do what I can to help you eliminate distractions and focus on the things that matter.
Social media is a big distraction in my own life, especially as someone who runs a business online.
This has caused me to evaluate when and how I use social media, putting certain restrictions in place to keep it from taking over my entire life.
That is how it has felt at times, and though it may not be as extreme for you, I know it is a distraction for you as well.
Let me first say that I love social media. I enjoy using social media to keep in contact with family members and friends who live far away.
You can find an endless supply of inspiration for almost any area of your life on social media, not to mention entertainment.
I also use social media to connect with YOU online, which is awesome!
It is pretty amazing that you can build a community online through social media and become friends with people you have never met in real life.
There is also a dark side to social media.
Things like the comparison trap, feeling like you will never measure up, and seeking validation from others online, can turn social media into a negative space very quickly.
Social media can cause you to check out from your real life and ignore the people right in front of you in exchange for time spent scrolling through useless information providing nothing of value.
When you find yourself feeling like to need to take a step back from the online world, use the tips below to stop wasting time on social media.
1 // Turn off notifications
Go to the settings for your phone and turn off all push notifications for social media. This enables you to go about your day without feeling like you need to respond to every little thing.
When social media notifications are constantly popping up on your phone screen, it creates a sense of urgency. It also distracts you from whatever the task at hand.
Every time your notification alert sounds, you feel the need to look at it, and once you look, chances are you feel compelled to respond.
“It will just take a quick second,” you tell yourself. Those seconds add up. Not to mention the time spent mindlessly scrolling your feed after you post your “quick” response.
Turning off my notifications drastically reduced my time spent on social media during the day.
2 // Set up safeguards
You can install apps on your phone or your computer that will block your usage of social media. These apps operate based on the restrictions you set for yourself.
You can block certain websites or the entire internet during your designated time frame.
This is especially useful if you do a lot of work on your computer and find yourself easily distracted.
3 // Delete apps from your phone
If you don’t want to install new apps to keep you from wasting time on social media, you can delete the apps that tempt you the most.
In this case, you have to manually re-install a social media app if you want to use it or access it through your internet browser.
Take away the convenience of opening your favorite social media network to help you break the habit.
4 // Clean out your friend list
Another way to reduce the time spent on social media is to clean out your friend list. Following fewer people means there is less content to consume.
One way to do this on Facebook without deleting people from your friend list is to set up notifications only for the most important people in your life.
This is different than allowing push notifications for the Facebook app on your phone. I am referring the notifications you see only when you log in to Facebook.
Knowing that you will be notified when someone important to you makes a post allows you to log in, check your notifications, and log back out.
This eliminates the need to scroll. If it doesn’t pop up in your notification log, it’s not important.
For other apps, such as Instagram, that don’t allow you to set up notifications, unfollow accounts that are no longer inspiring.
It is important to be selective in who you allow to take up your time through social media, so you can focus on the people sitting right next to you.
5 // Put your phone in another room
I like to put my phone in the other room at night. I at least put it far enough away from my bed that I have to get up to turn off my alarm in the morning.
This is also useful for eliminating that time spent scrolling social media before bed when I’m supposed to be going to sleep.
You could also utilize this tactic during other times of the day that you want to be more plugged in with your family, such as dinner time or the hour after your kids get home from school.
You cannot give in to the temptation to check social media if your phone is in the other room.
6 // Designate time for social media use
Social media is a huge time waster in some cases, but it is also a useful way to stay connected with friend and loved ones.
Connecting on social media also gives us access to inspiration and encouragement we might not find elsewhere. Social media can, in fact, be beneficial.
Designate specific times for social media use, so you are not tempted to mindlessly scroll your feed any chance you get.
When using social media during your designated time, don’t feel guilty about it – enjoy it!
7 // Set a timer
Give yourself a specific amount of time to scroll through social media, and set a timer to hold you accountable.
You decide the amount of time because you are in control of how you spend your time. A set timer ensures that you don’t lose track of time.
Losing track of time is probably the biggest reason we waste so much time on social media, right?
Solve this problem simply and immediately by setting a timer.
8 // Go on a social media fast
After exhausting the tips above, you might find that you need to quit social media altogether to break the addiction.
Take a week or a whole month off to give yourself an opportunity to find other ways to spend your time.
You may not miss it as much as you thought you would. When you come back, you will have a fresh perspective on how much time you want to dedicate to social media usage.
Now, it’s your turn
You can make room in your life for social media without allowing it to take over your whole life.
Evaluate the time you spend online and take the following steps if you find you need to stop wasting time on social media:
- Turn off notifications
- Set up safeguards
- Delete apps from your phone
- Clean out your friend list
- Put your phone in the other room
- Designate time for social media use
- Set a timer
- Go on a social media fast