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The Secret Techniques to Master Your Time

The Secret Techniques to Master Your Time

It seems that we all want a few extra hours a week to get through everything we want to. When was the last time you found yourself saying that you’ll do something when you find time for it? Everyone agrees that time is something we all want more of; more time to get through all our work, more time to be with friends and family, and more time to relax. However, how often do you find yourself rushing around like a headless chicken desperately trying to get everything done. or feeling frustrated and bordering  on rage because you just simply don’t have the time you want? Feeling stressed and overwhelmed constantly is not fun at all, so why is change so hard?

We live in a world where we want instant solutions and gratification, but for a price, of course, and the least amount of effort on our part. When we need something to be fixed or changed, it’s easy to go and buy a solution, but what about those problems that aren’t so tangible, like time? Of course, those who master their time have developed skills and learnt techniques, but they all share something else which is the root of their success—a mindset that enables them to manage their time effortlessly. Improving the way you manage your time really starts with the way you view time, your perspective.

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Getting Organized

Everyone has the same 24 hours in their day, yet it’s obvious that many people achieve more in a few months than most people do in years. Why is that? I have heard so many different excuses, and among my favorite are definitely “I was born this way, I’ve always been disorganized“—really? I didn’t know there was a gene for disorganization. Another is, “it will make me less creative and restrict my freedom“—on the contrary, being organized actually frees your mind up to be more creative! Let me ask you a question, do you believe that managing your time is in your control? In other words, do you believe it is possible? If you don’t, I’m glad you are reading this because your mindset is definitely influencing your results.

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If you think that you don’t have time to do anything, you will most probably find that you don’t. If you think that you are unable to take control of the reins and manage your time, that is what your experience will be. Your external world reflects your internal world, your thinking. If you are disorganized on the outside, you most likely feel disorganized on the inside, which is why you need to start with mastering your mindset. We cannot buy or create more time, but we can make more time by creating a time management mindset.

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Tips to Get You Started:

  1. The blame game: Stop blaming others for your results; you are responsible for how you spend your time and what you achieve with it—it’s that simple. It’s easy to blame others for not being able to accomplish what you needed to, but you have to take responsibility.
  1. Self sabotage: Stop telling yourself that you won’t get things finished on time, or you won’t be able to find time to do something. Those who manage their time successfully never set themselves up negatively, because that is what you are doing by affirming before you have even started that it will turn out badly and not work out. Remember that what you expect, you get! Catch yourself from limiting phrases like this, and be more positive. You will feel more empowered and in control by affirming to yourself that it will work out well, and your actions will be directed accordingly.
  1. Think: This might seem like a strange tip, but I’m not referring to your daily thoughts—I am referring to the way you think habitually. What normally happens when you have to plan your day ahead of time, or rearrange your schedule? Develop the habit of always looking for opportunities to leverage your time, prioritizing your actions in your mind, and knowing the best way to focus your actions. The way you plan your days and perform your tasks are directly related to your thinking, so if you are not seeing the results you want, change the way you think in that area.

You can learn all the techniques and tools in the book, but if you don’t believe that it will help or your negative thoughts keep you struggling with time, you won’t ever really master your time—until you master your mindset.

“A man must be master of his hours and days, not their servant.“ – William Frederick Book

Three questions to ponder:

  • How does your way of thinking influence the way you manage your time?
  • What are the consequences of keeping the same mindset you have now?
  • And what are the benefits if you change the parts that don’t support you?
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More by this author

Kirstin O´Donovan

Certified Life and Productivity Coach, Founder and CEO of TopResultsCoaching

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Last Updated on September 23, 2020

5 Reasons for Your Facebook Addiction (and How to Break It)

5 Reasons for Your Facebook Addiction (and How to Break It)

Facebook is embedded into lives around the world. We use it to connect with friends, share important milestones, and check in with the news. However, what may seem like harmless scrolling can become harmful if it takes up inordinate amounts of time and turns into a Facebook addiction.

The first step to breaking any bad habit is to understand the symptoms and psychological triggers that made you pick up the habit in the first place. Below you’ll find the common causes, and the good news is that, once you’ve identified them, you can implement specific strategies to get over your Facebook addiction.

Symptoms of a Facebook Addiction

Do you find that the first thing you do when you wake up is grab your phone and scroll through Facebook? Is it the last thing you see before falling asleep? You may have a Facebook addiction. Here are some more of the signs and symptoms[1]:

  • You end up spending hours on Facebook, even when you don’t mean to.
  • You use Facebook to escape problems or change your mood.
  • You go to sleep later because you’re glued to your screen.
  • Your relationships are suffering because you spend more time on your phone than you do talking with the people you care about.
  • You automatically pull out your phone when you have free time.

You can check out this TED Talk by Tristan Harris to understand how Facebook and other social media gain and hold our attention:

Psychological Reasons for a Facebook Addiction

A compulsive Facebook addiction doesn’t come out of nowhere. There are often root causes that push you into Facebook, which can ultimately manifest as an addiction once you become dependent on it. Here are some of the common causes.

Procrastination

Facebook can cause procrastination, but many times, your tendency to procrastinate can lead you to scrolling through your Facebook feed.

Facebook capitalizes on your tendency to procrastinate[2] by incorporating a news feed with an infinite scroll. No matter how far down you go, there will always be more memes and status updates to keep you distracted from whatever you should be doing.

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Thus, it might be helpful to change your perception of Facebook. Instead of looking at it like a place to be social or kill time, frame Facebook as the enemy of your productivity and purpose. Doesn’t sound as tempting now, right?

Loneliness or Indecision

Facebook resembles a boring reality TV show that is on full display during every hour of the day. Do you really need to tell everybody what you ate for lunch? I doubt it.

You don’t share such trivial details to add value to people’s lives. You’re likely doing it because you’re lonely and in need of attention or approval[3].

Seeking opinions from your friends could be a sign of indecision or low self-confidence. If you get a bad suggestion, then you can conveniently blame somebody else, thus protecting your ego.

Social Comparisons

Social comparison is a natural part of being human[4]. We need to know where we stand in order to judge our rank among our peers. And Facebook has made this all too easy.

When we get into Facebook, our brains are bombarded by hundreds of people to compare ourselves to. We see our cousin’s amazing vacation to Europe, our friend’s adorable baby, our brother’s new puppy, etc. Everything looks better than what we have because, of course, people are only going to post the best parts.

This extreme form of social comparison with a Facebook addiction can, unfortunately, lead to depression. One study pointed out that “people feel depressed after spending a great deal of time on Facebook because they feel badly when comparing themselves to others”[5].

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People-Pleasing

Facebook takes advantage of your desire for instant gratification[6]. Your brain receives a dopamine hit every time you see that red notification light up. Dopamine is a chemical in your brain that causes you to seek pleasure from things.

Pleasure sounds nice in theory, but dopamine is responsible for self-destructive behavior if overproduced. Thus, becoming a slave to your notifications can destroy your self-control in a hurry.

If that wasn’t bad enough, the human desire to be liked and accepted is at play, too. Every time you get a “Like,” your brain decides that means somebody likes you. Keep this up and you’ll turn into an addict desperate for another “hit.”

Fear of Missing out (FOMO)

Facebook wrecks your focus by preying on your fear of missing out. You check your Facebook feed during a date because you don’t want to miss any interesting updates. You check your messages while you drive because a friend might have something exciting to share.

One study found that “a high level of fear of missing out and high narcissism are predictors of Facebook intrusion, while a low level of fear of missing out and high narcissism are related to satisfaction with life”[7].

Therefore, while you may feel temporarily glad that you didn’t miss something, research shows that FOMO will actually reduce your overall life satisfaction.

How to Break a Facebook Addiction

Now that you know some of the causes of a Facebook addiction, you may be ready to break it. If so, follow these 5 steps to get over your addiction and improve your mental health.

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1. Admit the Addiction

You can’t fix a problem if you deny it exists. Don’t beat yourself up, but do try and be honest enough to admit you’re a Facebook addict. If it makes you feel any better, I’m a recovering addict myself. There is no reason to be ashamed.

Telling a trusted friend might help you stay accountable, especially if they share your goal.

2. Be Mindful of Triggers

In order to discover the triggers that lead you to use Facebook, ask yourself the following questions. It may be helpful to write them down at a journal.

  • What did I do? (scrolling, sharing, notification checking, etc.)
  • When did I do it? (down-time at work, as soon as you woke up, right before bed, on a date, etc.)
  • What happened right before? (a stressful event, boredom, etc.)
  • How did this make me feel? (stressed, anxious, sad, angry, etc.)

Once you’re aware of what pushes you to use Facebook, you can work on tackling those specific things to get over your Facebook addiction.

3. Learn to Recognize the Urge

Every time you feel the urge to update your status or check your feed, recognize that impulse for what it is (a habitual behavior—NOT a conscious decision). This is especially powerful when you complete step 2 because you’ll be able to make a mental note of the specific psychological trigger at play.

Have a plan for when you feel the desire to use Facebook. For example, if you know you use it when you’re bored, plan to practice a hobby instead. If you use it when you’re stressed, create a relaxation routine instead of jumping on Facebook.

4. Practice Self-Compassion

Facebook is an epic time-suck, but that doesn’t mean you should criticize yourself every time you log-on to your feed. Beating yourself up will make you feel bad about yourself, which will ironically cause you to be even more tempted.

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Self-loathing can only lead to failure. You might end up deciding it’s hopeless because you are “too lazy.”  If you want to break your addiction for good, then you need to be self-compassionate.

5. Replace the Addiction With a Positive Alternative

It’s a lot easier to eliminate a bad habit when you decide on a good habit that you would like to replace it with. I applied this idea by choosing to pick up a book every time I was tempted to check my feed.

The result blew my mind. I read over a hundred pages in the first day! Trust me when I say those “few minutes of down-time” can add up to an obscene amount of waste.

Having a specific metric to track is important. If you want to stay encouraged, you need to have compelling evidence that your time would be better spent elsewhere.

For example, download an app to help you determine exactly how much time is spent on Facebook so you know how much of your life you’re losing to it. Then, when you find a healthy alternative, you can feel good about all the time you’re giving to it!

Final Thoughts

Facebook addictions aren’t uncommon in today’s technologically dependent world. In the pursuit of human connection, we’ve mistakenly taken our interactions online, thinking it would be an easier alternative. Unfortunately, this is no replacement for genuine, face-to-face interaction in real life.

If you think you have a problem, there are things you can do to tackle it. Get started today and improve your overall well-being.

More on How to Use Social Media Less

Featured photo credit: Tim Bennett via unsplash.com

Reference

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