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9 Positive Benefits of a Social Media Detox

9 Positive Benefits of a Social Media Detox

Social media user numbers continue to grow. In fact, the average person spends at least 1 hour and 40 minutes per day looking at their favorite social media sites and apps. This is an astounding amount of time that could be spent in other ways, but it is also indicative of the current social and business culture.

However, this doesn’t mean that spending this much time on social media is good for you. Although your work may require you to remain social online during business hours, it can be very helpful to detox over the weekend or during a vacation.

1. Break the Social Comparison Cycle

Scientists have discovered that most people who use social media end up comparing themselves to the lives of everyone they know. The problem with this is that it can have a serious impact on your self-esteem.

For example, if everyone you know is getting married and having babies but you’re still single, you may end up feeling isolated and lonely. This can even lead to serious depression for some people. Break away from this unhealthy cycle by taking a break from social media so that you can reconnect with all of the awesome things in your life.

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2. Protect Your Privacy

Social media is a convenient way to keep in touch and share photos, but it also requires you to give up a lot of your privacy. For example, ReputationDefender recently reported that the latest privacy policy update for WhatsApp allows the messaging app to share data with Facebook.

Therefore, if you don’t want Facebook to have access to your telephone number, make sure that you don’t have both apps installed on your phone. Even better, you can take a social media detox that includes deleting your apps and accounts to provide yourself with the best possible privacy protection.

3. You’ll Stop Feeling So Competitive

Even if you aren’t aware of it, social media brings out your competitive side. This is because the main basis of social media networks such as Facebook is to attract attention to your posts. Each reaction and comment is a measure of how popular a particular post is, which can make you strive to outdo others and even yourself.

This type of competitiveness is not healthy, and it can cause anxiety and depression. Take a mental health break by stepping away from social media for a while!

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4. Improve Your Overall Mood

Studies have discovered that the more time you spend on a social media site, the more likely you are to develop depression. Additionally, the amount of time you spend on these sites is directly related to whether or not you feel stressed out or happy.

In other words, if you’ve been feeling highly anxious, stressed out or depressed, this is a good time to take a social media detox. It may feel weird at first, but your overall mood should begin to improve as you stay away from Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites.

5. Conquer Your Fear of Missing Out

Computer World has pointed out that social media is engineered to be as addictive as crack cocaine. This isn’t just hyperbole; when you first stop using social media, you can expect to feel withdrawal symptoms. Scientists say that this is due to the naturally ingrained fear of missing out. After all, you could miss something entertaining or important if you step away from your laptop or smartphone.

The notification number makes it even harder to stay away. But those who become addicted to social media can end up destroying their personal and professional relationships. You can minimize this effect after your detox by scheduling a once a day visit to your favorite social media sites. After that visit is over, do not look at social media for the rest of the day.

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6. Reconnect with the Real World

Do you connect well with others online but find yourself never connecting in person? This can be ideal for introverts, but we all still have the need for some in-person human contact. Sadly, people who spend a lot of time on social media sites report feeling lonely and isolated in real life. They are also more likely to suffer from a weakened immune system.

The good news is that even if you’re an introvert and uncomfortable with a lot of in-person interaction, you can boost your mood by simply going out in public. Take yourself to your favorite park or restaurant if you prefer to be alone. You could even go to a movie or concert. If you want to make new friends, consider using a service such as MeetUp to find like-minded individuals.

7. Begin Living in the Moment

Do you post everything you do to Facebook while each activity or life event is actually happening? There have even been instances of people updating their Facebook and Twitter accounts from the altar immediately after getting married.

This is a viable way to document your life, but it can also become a burden that takes you out of the moment. If you’re living everything through the lens of social media instead of directly interacting with it, your experiences are going to be of a lower quality and become less memorable.

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8. Stop Obsessing Over the Past

Do you spend a lot of time looking at old tweets or Facebook stalking your ex? This can keep you stuck in a negative headspace, and it makes it much more difficult to recover from a breakup.

Leaving social media behind for a while can give you the space you need to stop obsessing and actually move on with your life. Make sure that when you do return to social media that you take the extra step of blocking exes or anyone else who it pains you to see online. You can also tweak your Facebook memories to remove certain items so that you stop being reminded of them.

9. Gain a Lot of Free Time

Do you feel like you never have enough time to exercise, read or clean your house? Putting social media on pause will help you regain almost 2 hours daily, during which you can devote your energy to improving your life. Walking for 30 minutes per day offers huge physical and mental health benefits, which makes it a much better usage of your time than scrolling through your Facebook news feed. You will also feel less stressed out if you take some time to get your house in order.

If you have a difficult time unplugging completely, consider visiting one of the many websites that offer educational benefits instead. Taking a free course on a topic of interest is definitely a better way to spend your time, and it can enrich your personal and professional lives.

Featured photo credit: By Tomwsulcer (Own work) [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons via commons.wikimedia.org

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Holly Chavez

Writer, Entrepreneur, Small Business Owner

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Last Updated on September 16, 2019

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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  • (1) Research
  • (2) Deciding the topic
  • (3) Creating the outline
  • (4) Drafting the content
  • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
  • (6) Revision
  • (7) etc.

Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

2. Change Your Environment

Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

6. Get a Buddy

Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

7. Tell Others About Your Goals

This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

Reality check:

I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

More About Procrastination

Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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