In today’s distraction-heavy world, staying focused while we work is tough. Social networking sites in particular are very good at stealing our attention and interrupting our time management. They have all the makings of a perfect Time Killer: easy to access and difficult to look away. Those of us who enjoy being on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc… have a tough decision to make. How in the world do we continue to use these sites but remove them from our mind while we’re working? Start with these 5 strategies.
1. Log out
Many of us choose to keep ourselves logged in to our social network. This makes it all too easy to check Facebook “just for a minute” while we’re trying to work. Instead, log out of these sites and make sure your computer does not auto-save your password. This way, you will be less tempted to snoop on your news feed when you should be focusing! The extra step of having to enter your username and password can be just the deterrent you need.
2. Work Offline
If your work doesn’t require the use of the internet, shut it off. Remove the temptation all together. I turned off the WiFi on my laptop before starting this blog post, and it has done wonders for my focus. Not only that, but my battery isn’t draining nearly as quickly as it usually does!
Smartphones are great in that you always have a mini-computer in your pocket, but they also make your social network a distraction everywhere you go. To avoid mindlessly scrolling through Twitter during every spare moment, put your cell phone out of reach when you need to focus on something. If you can’t deal with the separation anxiety that causes, try removing the short-cut button from your home screen.
4. Pick and Choose
The first social network I took part in was MySpace. Then I got a Facebook, then a Twitter, then a YouTube Channel, and now I’m venturing into Pinterest-land. These have been great tools to grow my business, but personally I try to only pick a few to use regularly. It takes time to remain deeply involved in every social network available. Choose your favorites to stay involved with, and relegate the rest to “once a week” status.
5. Dedicate Time
At the proper time and place, social networking can be a fun Dessert in our Time Diets. Rather than glancing at YouTube only when you’re trying to do something else, give it some dedicated time in your schedule. Maybe it’s the way you unwind for a little bit at lunch, or what gives you a quick laugh after a stressful day. If we don’t allow ourselves time for these indulgences, they’ll just creep into our schedule when we need them least!
Number of times I checked my smartphone while writing this post: 0
Number of times I wanted to: 5,782,506.
How do YOU keep your social network from distracting you? Got a comment? Please leave one!