I get sucked into social media. I’m talking mindless scrolling and time wasting that puts me in a sour mood because I know there are better things to do. But it happens anyways. I get that little notification and 20 minutes later, I’m lost in an abyss of captions. It happens to the best of us.

I’m here to confess that I’m guilty of the scroll, but at this point, I’m tired of it. I want to put my phone down and batch out some work without interruptions. I want to be mindful of the present time and not be zoned out in a world of social-less social media.

You feel the same way?

I’ve been thinking, and there are some easy ways to stop the scroll. It takes a few minutes to set up, and some definite commitments from you to not go back on your goals to quit wasting time on social media, but it’s worth it.

1. Turn off notifications.

Ah, this one is scary. I’m worried that I’ll miss out on a conversation with a potential client or miss hearing about my friend’s new puppy. To be honest, I haven’t quite done this one yet. But I’m to the brink of just deleting the apps themselves, so this is probably a good alternative. Plus, I can check that message notification later — setting a better expectation that yes, I’m available, but not 100% of the time. Just think — if you turn off your notifications, you’ll no longer be prompted like a zombie to open up Facebook or Instagram. Instead, it’ll be totally up to you to decide when to use social media. Sure, you’ll probably be checking your phone or habitually opening up the apps, but turning off the notifications is a freeing way to clear headspace so you can focus on what’s at hand.

If you don’t want to turn off notifications completely, at least pay attention to the notifications you’re getting and turn off the ones you disregard anyways.

2. Use your phone’s digital wellness settings to turn on timers.

Did you know that your phone has timers you can turn on for specific apps? It will even tell you how much time you’ve been spending on social media. If you really want a rude awakening, take a look at those numbers. Be strict with yourself. Don’t set a timer, reach its limit, and then increase the time allotted for the app. That kind of defeats the purpose my friend. Set realistic timers, say 15 minutes per app. That’s still 30 minutes a day if you use Facebook and Instagram. That’s plenty of time to check notifications — get in and get out.

3. Use social media for specific purposes.

Before you ever open up any social media app, set an intent. What do you aim to accomplish while on the app? If you simply want to go through your notifications, so be it. You can even scroll on the app — but only if there’s a purpose, such as engaging with followers on Instagram for 10 minutes, or to see if there’s any leads in the Facebook Groups you’re on. Otherwise, save the scrolling for rare occasions, like down time at the airport. If you must scroll, the timers you’ve set will come in handy — reminding you when the time’s up and it’s time to get back to work or simply spend time outside.

4. Schedule out social media posts in advance.

One of the biggest excuses for getting lost in social media as a business owner is, “But I need to post my content.” I’m calling a bluff. You can batch out your content in advance. Plus, it frees out daily time to work on projects. Setting aside one day or one half day a month to plan out content will save you from letting social media eat up your schedule the rest of the time.

I’ve been trying to plan out at least a week in advance and it’s so freeing. It allows me to post recent, relevant content, and stay focused on my current projects. As each day goes by, I’m not distracted by the thought of what I’m supposed to post that day. Instead, my post goes up automatically and I can keep on working. When I do want to hop on Instagram stories or engage with my followers, I set a specific time to do so and listen to the wellness timer when it alerts me that I’ve reached my limit.

A young woman sits on a bench, smiling with her laptop open next to her

Social media can be a place of opportunity — for connections, education, and even getting creative. When we scroll, though, we surpass opportunity and enter the land of boredom and distraction. Let’s stay in the creative realm, even if it means being strict with ourselves. Digital wellness can go a long way in improving your mood, increasing your productivity, and overall making your days better.

Stop the Scroll – Using Social Media with Purpose

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