For the past week, I decided to take a break from Facebook for the sake of my time management. I’m not against the social networking site at all. In fact, I think it is extremely important to have little distractions like this that allow us to zone out for a few minutes and give our brains a rest. However, my Facebook usage was getting out of hand and starting to affect my productivity. I decided that we needed a break in our relationship. Here is how my week went:
Day 1: Realized that no Facebook meant I would have to wait to post the pictures of the wedding I went to last weekend. Received upset email from my sister-in-law that I wasn’t posting pictures (she couldn’t be at the wedding.) This was going to be harder than I thought.
Day 2: Felt antsy and almost snuck a peak at my phone over breakfast. Instead, nosed around on the Internet and found some awesome SEO articles to peruse and then went to Starbucks for a work session. Productivity increase of at least 300%.
Day 3: Husband tells me that he saw on Facebook that my sister’s boyfriend got into a bicycle accident. Realized that Facebook is one of my major sources of news. Made a brief and supervised exception to my Facebook fast to look at the picture of him smiling in his hospital bed donning a bike helmet. Husband quickly shoos me off his account and tells me to stick to my rule as I vow to call my sister first thing in the morning and discuss with her proper ways of sharing breaking news with family members.
Day 4: Worked on the syllabus for the class I’m teaching in the fall. Felt the temptation to click over to my browser and scroll through Facebook land. Resisted the temptation and went for a walk around the block to get the mail instead. Felt re-energized and finished 45 more minutes of work. Win.
Day 5: Wanted very badly to tell everyone how well my productive week was going in a Facebook status update. Briefly contemplated the hypocrisy that would entail. Met new friends in person and realized that Facebook has replaced email as my go-to digital address book. Social networking sites do have useful purposes other than wasting time.
Day 6: Found myself going on Twitter a lot more in place of Facebook. Wondered if this was somehow cheating because Twitter is also a social networking site. Realized that it wasn’t cheating because everything I do on Twitter is to build my business. I don’t use a personal Twitter account.
Day 7: First day I could honestly say I didn’t miss Facebook. While working on a paper for grad school I didn’t once click over to my browser. Finished my work much more quickly and rewarded myself with a Happy Hour with friends. Annoying Facebook habit= broken.
So what did I learn through all of this? Facebook, as well other Time Killers, has a time and a place. Time Killers are like the cookies of your Time Diet. They are fine to have once in a while, but you shouldn’t eat them for breakfast. I am now confident that I can use Facebook as a way to keep in touch with people, share pictures and send messages without letting it interfere with my work and productivity.
Final Score: Emily: 1 Facebook: 0
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Time Management, Facebook, Social Networking