Of course I would be lying if I said I was creating every single time I am on Instagram. Trust me, I have lost many hours just burrowing and swiping away and getting lost in what everyone else is doing.
I have looked in on my life and also seen how i can get distracted for several minutes at a time on social media, and this of course began to affect my work and creativity.
And as I type this, I know I am not alone. So many of us are currently so distracted by social media, especially instagram and it has become a problem.
|photo credit: yourstory.com
In checking with this problem in my own life I have come to learn that the negative of the addiction is greatly reduced when important points are ticked of.
The major concern for a lot of us addicted to social media is we are wasting so much Valuable time and our core functions or work is suffering from this addiction.
So here are 10 Things to know, which I am currently using in my own life that has helped me a great deal and I hope will help you too!
1. CLEARLY DEFINE WHY YOU USE THE PLATFORMS
If you do not define why you are using the platform, then you would only be on it, wishing for likes and comments and depending on the high of instant grafitation and feedback.
Why are you using Instagram, or any social media platform at all.
In this day and age, where people depend on people for information via the internet, it is in your best interest to be a value creating person especially on Social Media.
If you are only posting to show off your life and get likes, then of course you will feel very unfulfilled and your addiction would be a bad thing.
Ask yourself, “How can I bring value to people?” and be very sincere with yourself.
Commit to letting that show on your pages and make it a habit to begin to give value.
For me I currently have 3 instagram accounts because I realized I was serving different aspects of myself to different types of people. So I have an account for Writing where my core function is to share my thoughts and insight, I have another for Makeup which focuses on my Makeup creations and I have my own personal Page which is mostly the house of the music brand for me.
It is of course very daunting to have 3 accounts and I am not asking you to do the same. I just want you to see how creating value is important for me. So what is it going to be in your own life?
2. MAKE IT A PRIORITY NOT TO LOG IN AT THE START OF YOUR DAY
Now that You know why you use the platform, it is important that you can give your self rules as to how you will use it.
Do not wake up and check in. This is a great way to check out of your own life in reality.
Waking up and heading straight to social media is something you have been doing for a long time now so it might take a while to train yourself in the new habit but it is definitely worth the try.
What this does is tell your brain that there are other more important things to take care of in the morning.
The reason this is so important to do is, logging online first thing in the morning will keep you in a swiping loop where you are looking for feedback of likes and comments, looking at what everyone else is doing, and getting unlost in very unimportant news and details that do nothing at all in the grand scheme of your life.
I am currently working on this in my own life and I tell myself “No instagram untill I have achieved a priority task on my to do list.”
I think this is a great way to start.
3. MAKE IT A MUST THAT YOU ACHIEVE A PART OF YOUR CORE FUNCTIONS FOR THE DAY BEFORE YOU LOG IN
This is sort of a continuation for #2 and like I said above, I make it a habit to achieve something important in the day before I check in on the gram.
Because when I have already suceeded at something With a clear head, I no longer have to deal with the guilt of wasting my time when I do go on social media, Instagram.
You feel better about yourself if you can do this, and instagram then becomes a sort of break between one task on your to do list to the next.
4. TRY TO TIME BLOCK AND MEASURE YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA USE CONTINUOUSLY FOR 1 WEEK
Time blocking is basically setting aside a particular length of time to get a task done.
If you are up to it, I believe it is a great idea to timw block your Instagram use. This means for instance when you log in, you decide you are only going to be there for 10 minutes after which you must put the phone down and go back to your other duties.
If you can do this successfully, the next question becomes how many 10 minutes during the day did you spend on Instagram?
Doing this successfully also ensures that when you log on you focus only on what is important for you knowing you have only 10 minutes instead of just swiping away randomly.
If you are serious about getting back wasted time, then time blocking and measuring is a great way to start.
5. FOCUS ON CREATING MORE AND CONSUMING LESS
Many people are on Instagram simply consuming. The new disease of this generation is Information overload. We are constantly consuming and taking in data whether it is important to us or not.
All of the people you are consuming from are people who are spending their time Creating. Are you not going to create too so that others can consume your content?
Decide now that you are going to become more of a Creator and less of a consumer. By doing this you set yourself up to use the platform as the tool that it is instead of letting the platform use you.
6. REMEMBER IT IS JUST A TOOL, A MEANS TO AN END, NOT THE END ITSELF ATTACH IT TO YOUR WORK,
There are some people who have set up a whole career on instagram alone. That is, without instagram or snapchat or facebook, they would cease to exist.
I think this is really not ideal.
Let Instagram be a tool that drives the core function of your work in reality.
For instance, the end of me is to write books and inspire people with my writing. Using instagram is to share bits and pieces of a larger work or idea.
If you haven’t already, decide what the end goal is and always keep your vision clear.
Another example is my Makeup page
. The grand vision isn’t to build the business on instagram, but to create valuable content for my followers while using this to drive the conversation of my core business in Makeup which is my Makeup school.
So remember to use it as a tool that it is to drive your bigger vision which is outside the platform,.except of course if yours is an Instagram based business and the function is to grow and operate business on the platform.
7. UNFOLLOW EVERYBODY YOU ARE FOLLOWING AND ONLY FOLLOW CORE ACCOUNTS THAT BRING VALUE TO YOUR LIFE AND WORK
This one Step absolutely changed my life! If you can do this then you really are ready to use your addiction positively and gain back lost time.
I realized that a lot of time was wasted looking at things or posts that brought no real value to my life.
And as time went on and I began to accept my addiction to instagram with Love, I realized that I could no longer stand the noise. If I was going to be on instagram everyday then I sure as hell did not want other unimportant content consume my time.
Remember, it is your time.
It is your mind taking in all this information. Remember what I said earlier about information overload?
If the information you are taking in does nothing but take memory space and gives you no value then you are wasting your time.
Unfollow everybody, do it now.
When I did this I was following 2500+ people.
And since instagram doesnt let you bulkunfollow, I spent several days over a week unfollowing one at a time. I found that the apps available to do this did not work efficiently.
I remember feeling so clear in my head when I saw my following count back to 0! I felt brand new.
8. FOLLOW PEOPLE WHO INSPIRE AND CHALLENGE YOU TO BE BETTER IN YOUR LIFE PATH NOT JUST PEOPLE YOU ADMIRE
Now that you have unfollowed everyone, begin to follow again, this time making sure to follow only people who Inspire you in your present core functions in Life.
So for instance if you are a painter, follow the painters in your field who make your heart skip a bit and flood your with the motivation juice to be better in your own painting.
Follow people who Inspire you not only people you admire.
Don’t just follow a person because he or she is a celebrity, or because they are popular, what are they doing for you?? How are they inspiring you to take action in your own life?
So follow people for your growth, not just entertainment and time wasting.
For the first couple of weeks to a month, try your very best to keep your following to under 50 people at a time. If you want to follow someone new, then decide who has not been inspiring you enough and unfollow them to create space for the new person.
If you can keep this up then try to ensure you are not following more that 100 people after a while.
9. ENSURE THAT YOUR PAGE LOOKS LIKE YOU
Who are you? What do you represent? How do you want people to see you?
Setting your personal brand straight on instagram is very important as people will judge based on the photos or posts they see on your page.
So look at your page again and decide if it looks like you.
If it doesn’t then you definitely have alot of rearranging to do. Lucky for us, Instagram now has the archive feature which lets you hide posts from your main page so you don’t have to delete them.
When I did this on my own page I had over 2000 posts so it was a task in itself. Thankfully unlike unfollowing where you have a limit of about 100-150 per two hours you can archive hundreds of posts without limit.
Doing this will ensure that you remember who you are and what you represent on your page so every time you make a post, it is enhancing your online image and not just random for the sake of likes and comments.
10. WHEN YOU WORK, WORK. GIVE YOUR SELF TIME BLOCKS OF UNINTERRUPTED TIME FOR MINUTES AT A TIME.
Everytime you look at your phone when you are supposed to be working, you get pulled into the distraction and often times stay in it for longer than you initially intended. And each time this happens you are training your Brain to Lose Focus. Make it a priority to be completely focused on your work for a set duration of time. If possible keep the phone away or turn it off completely when you are working. This can be difficult to do at first but I promise, it is absolutely worth the try and practice.
There You have it! Please share in the comments below which of these tips have been helpful for you and which ones you are going to immediately Put to practice. Writing it in comments will help prime your brain for action so when you Wake up tomorrow and pick up your phone. you are ready with a new Social Media Use plan.