LOSE THE FACEBOOK BLUES
(TIME-MANAGEMENT TRICKS TO SHRINK SOCIAL PAGE HOURS)
Simple tips to take control of your social page habit and feel empowered.
Ever look at the clock in shocked horror to find you've been goofing off on Facebook for three hours when you only intended to log on and play a couple turns of Words with Friends?
I can relate. It left me feeling depressed and angry with myself for wasting so much time--even though I get article ideas from friends' posts --like this one, ironically enough. I just needed a way to manage my addiction.
I came up with these old-school, easy tips:
Use Facebook as a reward. My rule is no Facebook before lunch, and lunch happens when the morning work is done. That was easier for me when I worked a conventional job away from home with a boss breathing down my neck. Now I'm a disabled, self-monitoring freelance writer. I have to remind myself of how good I feel when my articles move from the 'submitted' category to the 'published' category, and keep my head in the game. (The writing game, that is, not 'Candy Crush!')
Find yourself a timer, preferably one with the most annoying ongoing beep you can find. No little kitchen timer that has a cutesy little 'ding!' that barely pulls you out of your Words with Friends fog; oh no. I mean something that shrieks and makes you cringe. Got one? Good. Ever set a timer for computer-game-playing kids? Well paybacks are hell.
Set the timer for half an hour.
Put the timer well out of reach of your computer. When it goes off you'll have to get up to get rid of that annoying noise! And once you have, log off immediately (without even sitting back down!) and STEP AWAY FROM THE COMPUTER!
Do not return to Facebook for at least 3 hours. And! If that three hours takes you up to dinnertime, don't log on until after the meal. Think of social pages as dessert. And! That 'dessert' only comes after a balanced meal--no Hot Pockets in the microwave--I'm wise to those tricks. Muahaha!
Use Facebook time to exercise. I partly justify the time I spend on Facebook by exercising from logon to logoff. I'm disabled and do seated exercises--no reason why you can't do the same. Exercising also relieves a tiny bit of the guilt if I cheat a little and reset the timer for another fifteen minutes because I'm in the middle of a comment war with a friend. Exercising is a backup for the timer. Trust me, you won't lose track of time if you're feeling the burn.
See that, I've just given you a way to keep track of your time on social pages so you don't get the another-afternoon-wasted-blues, and even shown you a relatively guilt-free way to cheat!