We all need social media. Whether you’re using it to enhance your personal brand or to promote your business on social media, like it or not, it’s a part of our everyday lives and successes. But if checking in on the performance of your most recent post turns into hours of mindless scrolling then it may be time to set some boundaries. So, if you have to use social media, how do you keep it from taking over your life? Let’s take back control of our day while still using the tools that are necessary to grow our careers.
Use apps to control social media time
In order to combat overuse, it helps to know how much time you’re spending on certain apps. You may think you know, but the numbers may surprise you. Most phones have settings that allow you to track how much time you spend on a particular app. Look at how much time you’re currently spending and set a goal for where you want to be.
The best way to control social media use is to make it less accessible. There are several apps you can download to put a cap on your social media time. Both android and IOS phones come with settings that can track, limit, or restrict the use of certain apps. In addition to apps already installed on your devices, there are several apps you can download from the app store to achieve this same goal.
Turn off your notifications
Another way to limit your social media use is to turn off your notifications. Our brains give us a dopamine response when we see a notification on an app, encouraging us to open it. It may seem simple, but remove the notifications, remove the urge to open the app, and prevent the endless scroll.
There are plenty of scenarios where you need to scroll. Whether you’re looking for inspiration for your next post or looking to engage or network with others on the app, there are plenty of times when scrolling can’t be avoided. However, you can make sure that you’re scrolling is purposeful.
Think about what you want to achieve before you open the app and write it down so you can hold yourself accountable. Then set five-minute timers to check in with yourself and make sure you’re doing what you’re supposed to be doing (liking or commenting on posts, looking for inspiration, etc.) instead of getting distracted by content that may be entertaining but not pertinent to your goal.
Give yourself a curfew
Another strategy for preventing social media from taking over your life is to set allowable times during the day for your social media use. You could schedule a particular hour during each day for social media and refrain from using it outside of that specified period. Similarly, you could enact a curfew; for example, no social media after 6:00. By setting specific times, you can accomplish your goals that involve social media and still set boundaries. Additionally, utilizing built-in bedtime controls on your phone can help to eliminate the urge to scroll just before bedtime or if you’re restless in the middle of the night.
Although social media may be a crucial part of your business or personal brand, it doesn’t have to be all-consuming. You can still accomplish your goals without going down an unproductive rabbit hole. A little bit of mindfulness and a bit of strategy can go a long way toward helping you take back control of your day.