The average US user spends 50 minutes on Facebook, every day. Is facebook killing productivity in less than an hour?
When I read that the average person spends 50 minutes on Facebook, I laughed. Only 50 minutes? I can do that before I move from the couch to the office in the morning.
30 minutes just catching up with everything going on in the groups I’m part of. Then answering messages, replying to comments, posting my own updates, etc. I can easily invest an hour before I even think about work. Productivity has already taken a back seat before I finish my coffee.
I Took a Hiatus Once…and I Loved It
Last year I actually accomplished a 79 day Facebook hiatus. I was shooting for 100, but tumbled right back into it one day completely by accident. I told myself I only needed to log in for a quick minute to ask a question in a work group. One hour later and I was still there. My glorious hiatus was busted. But, looking back on how much I’d accomplished in that time, I knew Facebook was killing my productivity.
HOW IS FACEBOOK
1. The Facebook Time Suck
Social media lures you away from other tasks or experiences. It’s entertainment, so it’s only natural that we want to do that instead of other things that aren’t as enjoyable.
No matter if your weakness is funny videos or trending headlines, most of us don’t realize how much time has passed since we opened the page. So, how do you fight it?
#1 Best Way: Use a Browser Plugin that will do the work for you. StayFocusd is a browser extension for Chrome that you can program to block you from Facebook (or any other site) at specific times or after a set amount of time spent on the site. Once you’re locked out, it’s much easier to resist temptation.
Tell Friends You Are Taking a Break – If you don’t want to just disappear, tell your friends or even leave a post on your profile letting your list know the absence is voluntary so you won’t be flooded with “Where are you?!” messages. If your privacy is set to friends only, adding your email address to the message is also a good way to ensure those who want to say hi still can.
Turn Off Your Notifications – One of the most difficult aspects of avoiding Facebook is knowing there are people trying to contact you.
You’re working hard and suddenly there’s a PING! You’re struck with F.O.M.O – Fear of Missing Out. Don’t give in. If it’s an emergency, there are other ways to contact you. Chances are, it’s not.
Turn Off Commenting on Your Profile – If you’re worried you’ll seem rude because you aren’t there to acknowledge comments on your page – turn them off. Click Settings > Timeline and Tagging > change “Who can add things to my Timeline?” to “Only Me”.
2. How To Avoid Facebook Negativity
Most people realize that a Facebook Time Suck can steal your day, but what about negativity? Absolutely. Think back to the last time you were in a bad mood and you had work to do. It didn’t go so well did it? Luckily, there are steps to help you avoid stress on social media as well.
Reduce Your Friend List – Be honest with yourself: how many of the people on your list are actual, real friends? It’s time to start trimming down the names, especially if some of them are leaving their stress on your profile.
If you have friends who don’t post on your page, but their own complaints or arguments are constantly in your newsfeed: unfollow them.
How to Unfollow on Facebook: Go to the Friend’s Profile > Click the Follow Button underneath their cover photo.
Get Facebook Purity – This browser extension has been a sanity saver for me. Among many features is the ability to hide posts that have specific words, hide the trending news panel, and even completely remove your newsfeed (great for people who need to login to check business pages or study groups, etc).
Lead By Example – Negativity breeds negativity. If you login while you’re angry, unleashing on your profile, others will join – fueling your anger.
Starting your own tirade also brings in people who will disagree with you. Next thing you know, you’re upset about your original complaint AND you’re now arguing with your cousin/aunt/friend because you don’t see eye to eye.
Control the Conversation – Remember: it’s your profile, your rules. If someone starts an argument or something you don’t approve of on your profile — change the topic or completely remove it. You can send the friend a note explaining why, or not. The choice is yours. You can’t control what people post elsewhere on Facebook, but you can make sure your corner of the site is free of negativity.
When all else fails: log off until you cool off.