Don’t quit social media. Yes, you read that right.
It’s time you faced the truth that social media is here to stay. Everyone and their grandmother are now on social media. It has become part of us and we can’t run from it. We learn, trade, connect, and work from it.
As humans, we always yearn for the feeling of balance. We want to be in full control of our minds and time. If we aren’t getting it right, everything around us becomes distasteful.
The art vs the artist
Before the advent of social media, life coaches preach work-life balance. With more and more businesses online, there’s now the need for digital life balance.
From over-sharers to quiet observers, the world of social media is full of different species. What you find is what you get. Before you uninstall that app or deactivate your account, think about it again – Are you running from the online demons or the demons in your mind?
Our mind forces us to see our inadequacies from what other people share. The moment you start losing control of your mind, social media becomes deadly.
In this post, I’m going to highlight some practices you can adopt to start taking control of your own mind. Even with multiple digital minimalist systems in place, if you keep seeing social media as the enemy, you are still far from living a focused life.
1. Be intentional with what you consume
As simple as this sound, it is the most important aspect of our social media lives that we ignore the most. We let technology dictate our moods and how we should live. Our feeds are full of “look at me, I’m cute” and “if you are not doing this, you’re a loser”.
Take a notepad and write out your interests. What do I love to see, when do I want to see, and from whom do I want to see? You need to start treating your social media circle like a cult. Don’t just follow any random person that follows you. If your interests don’t align, you are not obligated to add them as friends.
This also applies to celebrities and public figures. Follow the people you see as role models or mentors. Stop following any random figure you see online. It breaks your mind and ignites your inadequacies. Before you know it, you start to imitate their goals and abandon your core principles.
2. Train your mind to ignore and forget
In the physical world, you cannot control what people say to you or how they treat you. Let alone a virtual world where people hide behind their keyboard to say whatever they want and post what they want you to see. Train your mind to know that it’s not real. Nobody is ugly on social media. Everybody is book smart and teaching other people what to do.
We are humans, constant comparisons keep us going. But it becomes toxic if it’s what you use as criteria for every decision you make in life.
Starting today, take note of your thought process when you are scrolling through your feeds. Is there any point in time that you think “I wish I have that”, “God, when?”. Snap out of it and say to yourself “This is not real; I’m doing my best”. If you’re truly doing your best, it becomes easy to forget. You have a goal and that’s where your focus is at.
3. Spend more time in deep work
No doubt, social media is the easy way out when we are avoiding a task or action faking. The more time we spend doing what we love, the tasteless social media become. Even if your customers are on social media, it doesn’t stop you from picking up a hobby or side project to fill up the distraction gap.
Inform your customers of your availability. Let them know when you are always active to respond to inquiries and orders. This is going to help you prevent message chaos and manage your inbox well. While you’re offline, you’d be rest assured that whatever is happening online will always be there waiting for you.
During deep work, you’re expected to put your phone on Do Not Disturb (DND) mode and have a checklist of the little tasks you plan to accomplish before rewarding yourself later.
4. Police your time with an accountability partner
Set new goals and smash them with a friend or colleague who shares the same interest as you. Set a deadline you are both committed to, and anyone who defaults will pay the price, as agreed.
With an online community, you can also commit your goal and have the members hold you accountable. Before you know it, what many people see as a distractive tool will be a catalyst to help you achieve your goals.
5. Build a social-media-free morning routine
If you are working from home, I believe what you do when you wake up will significantly impact your day. Disconnecting from the outside world within the first 2 hours of waking up is easily overlooked. But it’s a very effective way of protecting your sanity and blocking every obstacle that comes your way later in the day. There’s no format for what a morning routine should look like, whether you wake up at 10 am or 1 pm. Do whatever works for you.
Where do you go from here?
Digital minimalist systems don’t work for everyone. I believe our mind is more powerful than any system or tool created to save us from social media chaos. The question you need to ask yourself is “How much of social media is too much”?
If you can answer the question, then you should revise the practices above to help you be more focused and achieve your goals.