Procrastination – we’ve all been there. If you’re anything like me, at one point or another, you’ve made excuses to avoid tackling those pesky tasks on your To-Do list. Unfortunately, this kind of chronic behaviour will inevitably push you deeper into a productivity rut that can feel impossible to climb out of.
It’s an inconvenient truth that your productivity will suffer due to procrastination. Life has a transactional quality – you put in what you get out. You reap what you sow.
The good news? The first step to forming good habits is being self-aware enough to recognize which behaviours are holding you back. The fact you’re reading this blog is a good indication that you’ve reached this stage – congratulations!
I’m willing to bet that most people who are aware of their bad social media habits are having trouble changing them. I’ll be the first to admit that it’s a lot easier said than done… here’s part of the reason why:
The Mobile (Dis)advantage
Before the advent of mobile social media smartphone applications in the 2010s, it was easier to control our social media intake since it was limited to our desktop computers and laptops.
Nowadays we carry our smartphone devices everywhere: home, work, school, the bus, the gym, etc. With social media applications at our fingertips, it’s easy to get sideswept from an important project or personal goal when we’re constantly pinged with notifications from Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn – you name it.
When you think about it, there is nothing natural about being tethered to our devices, with our heads down and disengaged from the world. We feel extreme pressure to be online and attainable everywhere we go, because that’s the norm/
This is no accident. Social media platforms have heavily invested in establishing this learned human behaviour. The algorithms are literally designed to hook you. Not only that – content itself is strategically designed by Communications specialists (like myself) to dazzle and engage its audience.
Sometimes it can feel like you’re being pulled in many different directions, leaving you unfulfilled, frazzled and anxious. It’s hard to avoid in the 21st century unless you turn your phone on ‘Do not Disturb’ mode or lose service altogether.
Alternatively, you can set clear boundaries and stick to them.
You’re probably sick of hearing the term setting your intentions from those woo-woo, new age social influencers. I’m aware of how cheesy it sounds, but trust me – it really works!
Make sure that when you use social media, you’re doing it with a set intention in mind. Like any goal, you want to make sure that it’s specific, realistic, and time bound. Here’s a few examples:
I will only use social media to wind down after work and to develop a professional network.
This intention statement is too vague. It’s very easy to fall down the rabbit hole of consuming endless low-quality stimuli while rotating through your favourite social media platforms. Set yourself up for success!
I will only use social media for thirty minutes each day to implement my business’s social media strategy and to check-in with my loved ones
This is an excellent example of an effective intention statement. Not only is it specific, realistic, and time bound – it also links to truly fulfilling aspects of your life (i.e. your professional goals and personal relationships).
Practice makes perfect – when you catch yourself mindlessly scrolling or preparing to open a new tab, ask yourself the following questions:
- Does the action I’m taking right now align with my social media intention? Be mindful.Once you get your head out of the game it’s hard to get back into the growth mindset!
- Does it really align? Or am I just making excuses for myself? A lesson I had to learn: lurking your LinkedIn feed ≠ establishing a professional network or personal brand. Tread carefully!
- How can I modify my behaviour to better align with my intention? Instead of opening up Facebook purposelessly, how about you shoot Grandma a message? It’s been too long…
It’s not going to be easy. The hardest part about breaking bad habits is replacing them with new ones. Believe that you can pull yourself out of that creative rut and spark a state of flow… and it will happen! After all, you reap what you sow.
Just remember: you’ll survive without that hit of dopamine from your Instagram feed!
Now I’m curious… what’s your social media intention? Let me know in the comment section below!
|The COVID-19 pandemic is forcing us to hunker down whether we like it or not. It’s the perfect time harness your productivity by setting a social media intention.|
Read Michaela’s guide to creating a social media intention statement here! [Embed article in post]
|Has your social media use been affecting your productivity? A social media intention can help. Learn more here: https://bit.ly/3ithnpe|