I have been on a journey to better productivity and mindset for a long time. A few years back I decided to delete my Facebook account and I have over time noticed myself slipping in terms of social media and other distractions, so I have now made some changes that I hope will lead to better focus and productivity going forward.
My thoughts on social media
I have not been a fan of social media for a long time. I watched friends and family members mental health dip dramatically after being consumed by the likes of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Social media as an idea is not a bad thing and it definitely brings lots of positives to the table. However it is by design super addictive, time consuming and a whole host of other things that I won't get into here.
A few years ago I tried to remove everything from my life that was consuming my time. deleted my google account, facebook, twitter, what's app and more. At first it felt great, but the society we live in almost makes social media an essential. I found myself disconnected from every one and everything. My response was to slowly start introducing myself again, so I started with what's app and google, so that I could get back in touch with my contacts. As time went by I found myself back on Twitter, Reddit and even Instagram.
Recently I have been reflecting on this and come to realise that I am once again spending a lot of time doing nothing on these platforms. Initially they were great, they helped me build contacts in the dev industry, even helped me find a job I would say, but now they are just time sucks and it is time for a change.
This time though I am not just flat out closing my accounts, I am just regaining control of my time. I have deleted all my apps on my phone pretty much, even wor related stuff like Slack and Outlook. Reason being is that when I am spending time with friends and family I don't want to be opening work emails or messages on Slack. Same goes for Twitter and LinkedIn. These are vital tools when the time comes, but often they are just apps I mindlessly scroll through to kill time.
I have noticed an immediate effect. I don't have any strong urge to fire up my laptop to check Twitter, instead I spend a little time on these at the start of my day, just to check for messages and mentions as well as keeping up to date with what is new in the industry Other than that I just don't need them and I am much happier for it.
Balance is Key
Would I love to live in a world without social media - probably - for a lot of reasons, but that isn't going to happen. Also, as I said in the beginning of this post, they are not all bad and are definitely useful at the right times.
This acceptance but limiting my time works for me. I made a mistake trying to cut off everything before as it left me just that - cut off - from my friends and family.
Get Shit Done
In terms of getting things done, I wholeheartedly recommend this approach, having a million and one distractions and temptations on your phone just means a constant battle with yourself. Remove these distractions and you will see your output soar.
I also think in general people limiting their time on devices and platforms in general is a good thing for many many reasons, getting things done is not the only one. You should see a major improvement in your relationships if you spend some time away from your screens. Use the platforms to make plans, then go do stuff!