How to avoid social media distractions while you’re at work

Whether you commute to an office for work every day or you’re lucky enough to work from home, you probably fall victim to a very real modern dilemma – how to get your work done with the siren song of social media pulling your focus.  The last thing you want is for your boss to walk in on you while you’re checking Facebook or posting to Insta, or worse, to miss a deadline because you went down a rabbit hole on Pinterest.

In some ways, social media is almost like a drug.  It’s hard to break away from the allure of social currency.  Unfortunately, a social media addiction won’t pay the bills, so it’s best if you find ways to focus on the job at hand.  What can you do to tear yourself away from social media distractions while you’re at work?

1.  Turn off alerts

It’s definitely harder to resist the pull of social media when your device dings or buzzes every time someone you follow posts or messages you.  If you have your smartphone set up to alert you to social media goings on, it’s time to toggle off notifications so you aren’t constantly distracted by audio signals.

You should also shut down or even remove social media on your work station.  You don’t need visual alerts of social media activity distracting you from your work, either.

2.  Set a schedule for checking social media

FOMO is a strong motivation, and it can make you itchy to check your feeds every five minutes.  This is not a recipe for completing your real work in a timely manner.  The solution is to provide yourself moments of respite with a set schedule.

Breaks are a necessary part of any work day if you want to reboot your brain periodically and improve overall efficiency.  After an hour or two of work, give yourself 10-15 minutes to stand up, stretch, and scroll through your social media feeds.

3.  Reward yourself for completing tasks

Setting small goals and receiving rewards for completing them is a great way to break up your work day and improve morale.  When you finish a work task, give yourself a pat on the back and a few minutes of screen time with your social media accounts.

4.  Turn off your phone

Okay, even with these rules in mind, it’s easy to slide back into old habits and let social media distractions get the best of you.  If all else fails, simply power down mobile devices for a set number of hours.  The hassle of powering back on should be enough to stop you from doing it every few minutes so you can focus on work for a solid chunk of time.

Post by Sarah Harris

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