A couple of months ago I gave you my top tip in This Tip Alone with Double Your Productivity and it’s simply to turn off email notifications. If you haven’t read it yet, check it out. The tip is simple yet powerful and in the blog post I explained why it is important to implement.
Today I’d like to tackle a similar major distraction: Social Media Notifications. Do we really need to know when someone liked our post the second it happens? Is it important to jump on a comment a split second after it was posted? What would happen if we didn’t react to someone else’s post the moment it has been posted? The answers in short are no, no and nothing.
Social media is a great tool to stay in touch with people, to tell them about our lives if we wish and if you’re using it as a business to educate, entertain and inform potential and existing clients and customers. Unfortunately, it has become a major source of distractions and interruptions.
People spend more time on social media than talking to people in real life and showcasing things on social media has a higher priority than enjoying the moment. This brings with it a variety of destructive issues. We are constantly bombarded with notifications, our phones and now also our watches are pinging, dinging and buzzing at us and claiming our attention and focus. Our minds are becoming more and more distracted and fragmented, and unfortunately it’s all by design. These social media apps are literally designed to keep us hooked into the platform.
The article “Why I can’t stop scrolling my social media” from the University of Melbourne explains:
“When we talk about any addiction forms, it’s always correlated with brain chemistry. Here, our brain loves social media notifications. Whenever we see a notification from our social media sites, either from Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, our brain releases a small amount of dopamine. Dopamine is a chemical produced by the brain when we feel rewarded or pleasure. It also releases when we eat a bite of delicious food, consume drugs, do exercise or gambling, and now social media.”
We are being trained to be addicted to those platforms so that the creators can flood us with ads and make even more money. This has got to stop. Start using these platforms on YOUR terms, not on the creators’ term.
The 5 Step Process to get your time and your life back
Step 1: turn off all notifications from social media, no pings, no pop-up boxes, no badges on SM icons on your phone. You don’t need to be constantly interrupted or know that since you last logged in there were 10 things you might have missed. Who cares? It only makes you feel bad.
Step 2: Decide how often YOU want to check each social media channel. Use the platform on your term, not theirs. Spend as much time as you WANT to.
Step 3: Simply scroll through your notification tab or page on the app and see if anything of interest – of YOUR interest has happened.
Step 4: If you find it hard to tear yourself away from the feed, set a timer to remind yourself that it’s time to get back to REAL LIFE and back into the room to do your work or actually spend the time with the people you’re with at the time.
Step 5: enjoy the improved productivity you’re gaining and the increased presence and better relationships because you’re actually communicating again.
In summary, let’s all use our smart phones the way they were intended – as a tool to help us and not as a device to control our behaviour. Bonus: fewer distractions will also increase your focus and multiply your productivity.
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