I’m literally shutting down Facebook, Instagram and YouTube, as I type because DAYUMMMM!! It’s hard to even talk about abstaining from social media! And I’m only talking about getting off the wheel TEMPORARILY. Do you feel pulled to it too? Maybe you want to start disconnecting in part, just a little bit, just for the next few minutes. And it would be super hypocritical of me to talk about how shutting them out helps your productivity if they’re sitting right in front of me, seducing my attention!!! If you can, for the rest of this post, shut them pages down. Put your phone away while you’re at it!! Go you!!
I’ll be honest, this relatively new phenomenon of social media is hitting us badly AND WE DON’T EVEN REALIZE IT!!! For most of us, chalking it up to FOMO validates the whole cause. FOMO is Fear of Missing Out- not to be confused with Mofo which is a BAD word (that I highly recommend over self-censoring :P) And like all procrastination/ sabotage behaviour, the logic of the mind seems air tight. You may not even see the tricks the mind plays on you to get you to check your feed. For that purpose I’ve given you a taste of what this Mind Chatter may sound like!
Do ANY of These Sound Familiar?
- What if something important/bad happens and I’m needed? I better check!
- What is so-and-so upto? Lets find out!
- I wonder what the solution to <insert random trivial problem here>. Facebook might know!
- I need motivation. Hello Insta feed!
- I can’t do this anymore. Lets take a break.
Lets tackle this bad boy!
Nod if you feel it/have felt it/ know you feel it but refuse to admit it. Don’t matter, don’t worry. It can be tackled. And yes, I say TACKLE cuz MAN, it feels like a wrestling match to bring your attention out of them newsfeeds!
Why does it have to be so HARD?
Without getting too geeky on you, the deal is that whatever we do more often, we do better. Throw in the feel good factor that most social media is based on (I’m talking likes, hearts, approval of all and any kind) and that sends major jolts of happy hormones through your body. Boom: ADDICTED! That’s how our brains are wired, though. Take for example walking and talking. Consider how many years you’ve done these two activities. And for sure how impressed your folks and family were when you nailed them both. Now correlate to how boss you are at them. Right? It’s become a piece of cake with practice and healthy approval. But walking doesn’t have a slew of approval hitting you with every step. Facebook does. Boom: ADDICTED! Now think of how many times a day we check in with our virtual families. Maybe you maintain an online presence and thinking up content is part of your job (and I know some of you face this). Just for YOU, I’d ask how much of that time is constructive research and how often do you get sidetracked? The idea being mindless Facebook Grazing does NOT EQUAL to productivity. Bottom Line? You’ve gotten REALLY GOOD at being ON social media and you’re being rewarded for it every second you engage. Big round of applause for you!!
Okay.. How Do I get Real Work Done?
When you compare the Feel-Good-Phenomena that the Interwebs provide, to the feeling of plateau-esque peace that their absence would secure, your internal systems will probably revolt. A Hell of a Lot!! Me no feel good?? Me no function!!! Does this mean you’re doomed to have an obsessive relationship with your phone/desktop/screens? Will we NEVER get any work DONE??Thank God, the answer to this is N-O!!
What WORKS is creating alternate systems. Putting your phone away for just a couple hours while you take a Productivity Period (PP), for example. Airplane mode if you’re likely to be pulled off-course by dings and notifications. Your mind loves the chemical cocktail that social media can provide, so here are some tricks to deal with the air-tight logic mentioned before!
- What if something important/bad happens and I’m needed? I better check! : Remind yourself that nobody will die in the next 30 minutes. And if they do, there’s nothing you can do about it anyway (direct, maybe insensitive and ruthless even, but really true). Then get to work. Pray for those you love to be happy within that time span to earn extra points with The Universe/Almighty. It will all work out!
- What is so-and-so up to? Lets find out : Whatever they were up to, they will continue for at least another 30 minutes. Schedule calling them up, it’s so much more personal, anyway. Plus, you’ll be done speaking in say 2, 5 or 10 minutes. Much more efficient than stalking and trolling. Sometimes you may forget who or what you were so concerned about before your PP! If it is important, be sure to note it down and follow through afterwards.
- I wonder what the solution to <insert random trivial problem here>. Facebook might know! : Maybe Facebook does know. Is this problem immediate and imperative? Will your life be in danger if you don’t find out this moment? Again, make a note of checking it out after you’ve finished whatever you’re working on. Again, if it IS super-duper-cant-wait-important, start by taking a deep breath, maintain mindfulness, get your answer and get OUT! Now see your PP to the finish line! Apply as required.
- I need a break/ I’m too tired to work. : I love this one. As if checking your Feed ever brought any of us relaxation!! Pffft! Nice try, Mind! Instead, close your eyes and take a few breaths, staying with yourself. If you can, take a 15 minute power nap or Savasana. Or a walk outside, Nature preferred. Notice how your body feels after 10 minutes of being outside, hopefully you have fresh air, sunshine and a fabulous breeze to keep you company since you’ve left your phone on your desk.. If you get a little sweaty, like me, you can always wash up later. It’s a wonderfully relaxing break from sitting ALL THE TIME!
Your Turn!! What Air-Tight Mental Excuse do you have to deal with Most Often? How do you Tackle it and Get Shit Done? If you like, you comment/share?
Take care dear ones and share your learnings with all of us (it’s Teacher’s Day after all)!
Love and Productivity