Has Facebook started to interfere your work, school and social life? If your answer is yes, then it’s time to put a stop to your addiction.
1. Define your goals.
Facebook is great for a lot of things. It can help you stay connected and share details of your life with family and friends. You can use it to promote your business (or yourself, if you are self-employed). And let’s face it — Facebook is fun. Coupled with the prospect of meeting new people, its games and apps are valid reasons to sign on.
Ask yourself what you what to use Facebook for or why you set up the account in the first place. Has your usage changed from that initial reason? The problem begins when you start using Facebook for all the aforementioned things (and more) instead of picking one. This all-inclusive use creates a muddle of information until the site becomes a time-zapper for you. Personal updates would be more appropriate than advertisements for your company’s next sale if you’re trying to stay connected with family and friends.
You see how many Facebook friends post pictures and update their status on a regular basis, but just how drawn into social media are we these days?
If your focus is business networking, then posting pictures of your latest family gathering might appear unprofessional. In the same way, constant updates from games like CityVille might work against your networking attempts. Once you have set a Facebook goal for yourself, stick to it. This makes Facebook work for you and helps streamline your time on the network.
2. Limit your time.
Once you’ve set your Facebook goals, decide how much time you’ll spend on site. Many of us who have tried to limit our time on our own have failed to keep up with our set goals. Programs like StayFocusd can help keep you on track. An extension for Google Chrome, StayFocusd allows you to restrict your time for specific websites. Indicate how much time you can spend on a particular website, and once that time has passed, the extension blocks that site on your computer for the rest of the day. If you use StayFocusd, make sure you account for switching computers or Google accounts, so that you aren’t cheating yourself out of the benefits of using the tool.
3. Share your goals.
Make Facebook work with you, not against you. Install a Facebook calendar app, like 30 Boxes, to organize and share your goals and events on the site. Ask your Facebook friends become motivators toward achieving your goals and meeting your deadlines. Make your schedule available to your Facebook contacts to help keep you accountable to meet those deadlines and goals. 30 Boxes Calendar is also compatible with several other platforms including Twitter, Blogger, WordPress, Yahoo! Mail and Google Calendar. It’s also accessible through your smartphone via a mobile version of the calendar.
4. Take Facebook breaks.
If you’ve decided that Facebook is your source of entertainment, then be sure to use it as a reward for a job well done. The Pomodoro Technique incorporates breaks every half hour in order to maximize time management.
Here’s what to do if you decide to try out Pomodoro:
- Decide on what task you will work on.
- Set a timer for 25 minutes.
- Work on the task until the timer rings, then put a check on a sheet of paper.
- Take a short break — even if it’s only five minutes on Facebook.
- Every four cycles, take a break that’s longer than five minutes.
- Marking the sheet of paper helps you keep track of your progress. Be sure those short breaks to Facebook remain short! Use the StayFocused clock to help keep you on track.
5. Use Likes as rewards.
When finished with your project, use Facebook for positive reinforcement. If you want input from your friends list, share your work on the site via online business and productivity suite Zoho. With its Facebook app, you can share your documents with your friends. This will keep you connected with your business networks and help you collaborate on group projects for either work or school.
6. Just turn off the computer.
There’s a great big world out there beyond the Facebook news feed. Go out and meet people in person. Begin a new exercise routine, take up a new hobby, or learn a language. Experience life as generations did for centuries before there ever was a Facebook!