Guide to getting work done when you're addicted to Facebook - Small business consultant

The Sensis report of 2016 found that 55% of Aussies are accessing social media more than 5x a day. In particular, 95% of respondents said they used Facebook. Additionally, Facebook use averages 12 hours per week. They found that these numbers have increased over the years. It’s no wonder we feel like we are addicted to Facebook! We spend half a normal day or 1.5 business days each week on it!

So, how do I get everything done when I am addicted to Facebook?

It’s not practical to delete your account. Though the thought has run through my head on more than one occasion, I just can’t do it. Not only is it impractical business wise to turn my back on the platform that’s built part of my business, I also need the interaction & connectivity it brings. I love seeing what my friends and family are up to.

Unlike most addictions, being addicted to Facebook does not have to be an all or nothing affair – especially when your business has a Facebook page.

So what to do?

Delete

Ok, I know I said that it was impractical, but I want to offer you a range of solutions that may work for you before I tell you what I do.

If you are looking for some more drastic alternatives:

  • Unpublish your page and account for a while and just get on with things the old way, there were businesses before social media
  • If it’s the social side that sees you addicted to Facebook, then set up a new account with no friends and make it admin on your page and delete the first account.
  • If it’s checking your mobile, then only have the Facebook Pages app on your phone so that you can maintain your page.
  • Block Facebook on your laptop. Most businesses have it blocked, why not yours.
  • If Groups are an issue, only access them through the Groups app.

Not looking for a drastic alternative because, like me, you enjoy the social side of Facebook but you no longer want to feel addicted to it:

  • Set blocks of time in the day where you check it and then don’t look at it again.
  • Only have access to Facebook on one device.
  • Use a time lock app which blocks access between certain hours or for a block of time and then gives short periods of time to view Facebook
  • Be diligent when using Facebook to ‘check for something’. Don’t be distracted by what someone is doing/saying or that cute cat video.

So how do I manage my access to Facebook?

It’s hard, when you manage a number of Facebook pages for yourself and your clients; have your own Facebook Group & admin others; there is always that temptation to ‘just check’. So how do I get so much done in a little amount of time?

Groups

I rarely use them outside of my own and 3 other groups I am part of. In the main, I rely on Facebook Notifications to keep me up to date with what is happening. I have groups I am part of that I even turn off notifications and check them when I do happen to have some spare time.

Pages

I schedule all of my and my clients’ content. In fact, I schedule the majority of it on a Sunday night. I fight that night time is a good time to do this as I don’t find it takes too much concentration. My clients’ content is scheduled using the Facebook schedule option when writing a post. I cross-promote my and my clients’ content from Instagram to Facebook using Zapier and scheduling through Grum. I find Zapier & Grum to be the most reliable tools to schedule content to Instagram and then have it shared to Facebook.

Messenger

Most of my communication is done through Messenger. Oddly enough, mostly on my phone too (unless I have one of those long messages to write). I actually don’t like Messenger on the desktop and use it so that I can touch type, but I find that it blocks my view of the page (which frustrates me). So my key here is two things: push notifications of messages to my phone & my smart watch. I actually bought my smart watch for 2 reasons; firstly to have access to text when my phone isn’t at hand and secondly for Messages. Having messages delivered to my watch means that I can glance and decide quickly if it needs a response and removes additional distraction. While I understand that a smartwatch might not be to everyone’s liking, the notifications on my phone of a new message is enough to have me feeling connected without always being on Facebook.

Don’t have Facebook open

I know this one is a bit of a no-brainer, but not having it open in a browser and knowing that it’s open has had massive benefit to my productivity. I do not have the temptation to go and check Facebook just because it’s there. Yes my phone is on my desk, right next to me, but I am rarely drawn to check it.

So how to get stuff done when you’re addicted to Facebook?

Firstly, remove the distraction – which is what it is. Research states that it can take us between 10 seconds and 23 minutes to get back on a task. While this is the case, it’s more frightening to note that repeated interruptions increases the stress hormone, cortisol, and impacts on our beliefs in our ability and even increases depressive emotions.

In the main, I encourage you to be mindful as to how and why you use Facebook while you are working. Consider chunking like tasks together and using Facebook as a reward when they are completed. Turn on notifications and turn off sounds. Sounds are enough of a distraction to take your mind off of the task at hand, requiring you to refocus and reconnect with the work you were doing. In the end, your friends will wait, the world will not stop because you did not get to a notification. There was a world before Facebook & there will be one after. (No the irony is not lost on me)

Facebook is a tool for you to use, not to be a slave to. It just needs reminding who’s boss.

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