Too Much Social Media: Tips for Staying Sane and Productive

With each day, I see more evidence that social media has become a major distraction and that it may be negatively effecting the quality of our lives. Anxiety, confusion, depression, and a general lack of focus are plaguing many social media users. Television used to be the major distraction, but now Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram have become a daily obsession for many people.

iphonebackI am guilty of being too easily distracted by social media apps. Almost every day the first thing I grab is my cell phone. The second thing I usually do is open Twitter and check the trending topics. So basically, the first thing I see when I awaken to a brand new day is the chaos and confusion that’s going on in the world at the moment.

Sometimes there’s a horrific story of something that happened the night before. Other times the news stories are completely focused on the latest atrocity committed by the person currently occupying the oval office. The rest of it is mostly chitter-chatter and topics that can make you feel like you’re losing a few IQ points with each scroll.

In my book You Matter I mentioned the need to take social media breaks. I think there is great value in “unplugging” and taking regular breaks from the chaos of social media. Here are a few tips for how to better manage your social media usage.

Understand that Too Much Information Isn’t Useful

Imagine going to college for four years and trying to get 20 different degrees at once. There’s no way that you will be able to retain enough information from all 20 of those subjects to become enlightened on any of them. That’s basically what happens when you allow yourself to be overwhelmed with too much information on social media apps. Choose one or two points of focus and become educated/enlightened/an expert on those subjects.

Choose an App, Just One App

There are so many social media apps available now, including dating apps, that it can be very overwhelming keeping up with them all. Choose one social media account to focus on and stick with that. Here are a few insights about the most common apps from my personal experience:

· Facebook is for people who like to connect with the people they already know.

· Twitter is for people who are more cerebral and like to express their quiet thoughts.

· Instagram is for exhibitionists (think “show and tell”) who want to be noticed.

· Snapchat seems to be more appealing to young teens who are looking for a distraction.

Create Lists and Segmented Timelines

As mentioned earlier, social media is chaotic because you’re bombarded with so many different topics at once. One minute you’re reading a story about a loving llama and the next thing you know you’re presented with a news story about a violent attack abroad. It’s no wonder so many people struggle with anxiety.

Create lists or segments of people who will provide you with the topics that you want to read on your timeline. Search for specific hashtags of interest (#GirlTalk or #PoliticsChat) instead of looking at general trending topics. I’m not that familiar with social media sites outside of Twitter, but I know they have a way of limiting what shows up on your timeline.

Set a Timer

If hours go by and you’re still on Facebook or Instagram scrolling through pictures, you have to start setting some limits for yourself. It’s unlikely that you’re being as productive as possible in your day if you spend hours looking at posts by other people. So set a 10 or 15-minute timer on your phone right before you open your favorite social media app. That is enough time to get a quick update about what’s going on in the world so that you can then get back to your world.

Make Your Password Impossible to Remember

Taking extended social media breaks are necessary, but it can be easier said than done. If you find yourself spending too much time on a particular app, fix it so that it’s easier to resist temptation. Create a long and complicated password that you’ll never remember. Reset the password on your social media account and then log off. Now, when you feel tempted to pop into Twitter to see what’s trending you’ll be forced to go through the whole password reset process again.

Getting off of social media and getting back to real life may not be that easy since we’ve largely become addicted to our cellphones over the past decade. But we at least have to start having a conversation about this. Recognize how social media addiction may be affecting your life. Take steps to balance out your day and better manage the information that you’re consuming.

 

Lynn Gilliard is the author of a popular relationship guide entitled Let Him Chase YOU. Her latest book You Matter encourages women to know and understand their worth.

The Benefits of an Organized Mind

A little while back, I decided to clean my refrigerator and do it meticulously. Making the decision to dedicate my time to that simple task turned out to be very therapeutic and rewarding. To this day, my refrigerator is still organized and much easier to navigate. I posted about it here at LifeLoveLynn.com .

So I decided to implement this idea one more time –- this time to my garage. Now, my garage is like a place of forgotten thoughts, events and dreams. It is stacked with books, yard supplies, sports equipment, tools, barbecue stuff, pantry items, supplies and countless knickknacks. Everything has been mixed together in piles that are sometimes as high as the ceiling.

I decided that this week I was going to organize this garage. All by myself. The first thing I did was conceive of the plan in my head. Napoleon Hill talked about the importance of taking at least a few minutes to an hour planning things out in your mind before you take any action.

I put my mini television in the garage, put on one of my favorite shows and got to work. I took my time and stayed positive. Just two hours later it looked like a completely different place. Two hours.

This was a reminder to me that I need to organize my mind before I can successfully organize my life. For months, probably years I have looked upon that mess when it could’ve been resolved in just TWO HOURS after thinking things through.

So what do you have in your life right now that needs to be organized? Whatever that may be, the first step is to organize your mind. Get a plan together and just do it. You might be surprised by how quickly the job gets done and how rewarding it is for you.

Love Lynn

Lynn Gilliard is an author and blogger. Her new book You Matter encourages women to know and understand their worth. She is also the author of a popular relationship guide entitled Let Him Chase YOU.

Handling Tasks: Do Less Things with More Intention

I think that sometimes we feel as if our actions don’t count because we do dozens of things very quickly in our day. As women, we’ve often been conditioned to do so much in such a short period of time. You jump from one thing to the next, never really being able to enjoy your day or live in the moment. At the end of the day, you might feel like you haven’t really accomplished anything at all.

So maybe it’s best to choose just one or two things to do each day with intention, dedication and care.

For instance, I decided on this particular day that I was going to clear out my refrigerator from top to bottom then reorganize it. This will make it much easier for me to see the foods I have available so that I’ll be more likely to eat them. My plan includes enjoying a delicious snack (maybe some cheese and salami), maybe a glass of wine or champagne and of course a great Audiobook.

cleanfridge

Photo courtesy of Flickr/angryjuliemonday

Now if I decided to do this task on a whim when I was already overwhelmed with things to do, I’d probably just quickly throw a few things out and take shortcuts. But because I’ve decided to do this ONE task with intention, dedication and care, it will be done right. And I will enjoy the fruits of this task for many weeks. I’ll remember that I accomplished something.

Here are a few other tasks that can be done with intention, dedication and care that you’ll remember long after you’ve done them:

  • Cleaning and waxing your car (wax on wax off).
  • Clearing out your garage and giving stuff away to charity (be sure to keep the receipt).
  • Removing all of your clothes from your closet and giving anything you haven’t worn for over a year away promptly to charity.
  • Spending hours perfecting a new look (hair, makeup, outfit).
  • Cooking a very tasty, very healthy meal for yourself and packing the leftovers in trays for future lunches.
  • Planting a small area of your yard with a colorful array of flowers, taking care to plan out how they will look.
  • Brushing and grooming your pet.
  • Taking down your entire bed, freshening the mattress with a shampooer, washing your sheets in your favorite detergent or replacing them with 300 count sheets.
  • Writing 1 short story, blog post or article that is carefully thought-out and researched.
  • Reading a book, taking a 2-hour online course or practicing a language.

Now if you tried to do all of these things in one day or one weekend, you would be overwhelmed and they would be done poorly. But if you commit to doing JUST ONE THING the job will get done THE RIGHT WAY. And you’ll feel better about your accomplishment for the day.

womansitting

 

As you can probably see, this idea (doing things with intention) is also about self-care. Pick tasks that are directly beneficial to you. Not only do you feel better about yourself for having accomplished something, you have also done something that will make your day, week or life much easier and more enjoyable.

You matter and your actions matter. Do something with intention, dedication and care this week.

Love Lynn

 

Update 10/10/16 11pm: Mission accomplished!
fridgecleaned

 


Lynn Gilliard is an author and blogger. Her new book You Matter encourages women to know and understand their worth. She is also the author of a popular relationship guide entitled Let Him Chase YOU.

 

Featured photo courtesy of Flickr/allkindsofnew