How to handle your social media addiction

Do you ever try to start an important task, only to end up scrolling mindlessly through Snapchat, Instagram, or Facebook? Social media can be a huge distraction when it comes to working productively, as I’m sure you’ve experienced yourself. Here is how to defeat the social media cravings when it’s time to get down to work...

Remove the temptations from your workplace

When you’re in the zone and making great progress, it’s quite disruptive to hear a phone notification. It’s ideal to remove your phone outside the room you’re studying in so you’re less likely to reach for it when you’re feeling bored. Even better, get someone to hide or lock away your phone so you don’t even have social media as an option. From personal experience, this has helped me a lot.

Deactivate your accounts

Taking a break from social media is important in general, but especially around exam season! Deleting the apps from your phone or temporarily deactivating your accounts can help get your mind off them completely. Once your exams are over, you can catch up on all the posts that you missed out on, so don’t stress!

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Use tools to help manage social media

There are now heaps of extensions/apps you can download on your laptop to block social media when you’re studying. This can be great when you need to work on your laptop, and don’t want to end up browsing Facebook. The one I use is ColdTurkey, and it’s free to download.

Change your habits

Let’s face it, social media has become a part of many people’s daily routines now. The key to overcoming a bad habit is to replace it with something else that rewards you. So, instead of browsing social media for fun, what else can you do? I replaced the habit of going on Instagram before bed to reading a book instead. So, when you get the urge to go on social media, do something more productive but rewarding instead. For example, you could play an instrument, make artwork, exercise, write, or simply talk to someone.

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Get help from others

When it comes to overcoming a challenge, support is always helpful. When you’re studying on your laptop, try going to an area where people can see you. This could be the dining table at home or a public library. Having family around is helpful as you will feel more pressure to actually work if people are holding you accountable. Also, if they see you doing something off-task they won’t be afraid to tell you to get back to work.

Schedule in social media breaks

If you still want social media in your life, and are willing to be disciplined, then you can allow yourself social media breaks. Make a study timetable and then you could study for 1 hour and give yourself a 10 minute social media break. However, it can be very easy to go over this time limit so you should still keep your phone away from your workspace.

Social media may be the biggest distraction you face when it’s time to get your work done! If you can overcome this distraction, you can develop the willpower to overcome other ones too! Even if you end up giving in to the temptation, remember to forgive yourself and keep on trying to improve, you can do it!

Thanks for writing for us Renee!

Renee's advice comes for her personal experience - she loves reading, playing some tunes on the piano and all things nutrition. You can keep up with her on Instagram (that is, if you don't need to study rn 😉).

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