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Thinking that Facebook is Wasting Your Time? You Can Change that!

Thinking that Facebook is Wasting Your Time? You Can Change that!

Like Twitter, Instagram and many other social media platforms of its ilk, Facebook is often vilified for being a major source of procrastination and fostering time-wasting behaviors. And let’s be honest – it’s not entirely untrue! How many hours have we wasted, shamelessly spying on our friends’ and relatives’ lives (oh, is that just me, then?) or falling down the mesmerising rabbit hole that is Farm Ville? You know the drill: you open a browser, innocently intending to double-check the date of that hot event you were invited to, and bam – that’s it, four hours of your life, gone! It’s okay – you’re not alone and happily, there are ways of not only minimizing Facebook’s inherent time-suck effect, but also (and this is the exciting part) using this popular social media network as a means to educate yourself, get inspired and meet incredible people. Read on to discover 5 tips that will change the way you use Facebookforever!

1. Minimize.

Often, the reason why we waste so much time on Facebook is simply because we follow too many people and subscribe to too many Pages! With an average of 250 Facebook friends per U.S. female and an average of 1,500 posts eligible to appear in a user’s feed every day (data from Digital Media Ramblings), it isn’t hard to see why so many of us get sucked into the black hole of social media procrastination. The simplest solution to this predicament is to cut down on the number of people in your friends’ list and unsuscribe from the Pages that don’t add value to your Facebook experience. Consider this: how many of your Facebook friends do you actually speak with on a regular basis? Whose status updates do you find yourself repeatedly ignoring? Which posts do you systematically scroll past when they pop up in your Timeline? Ask yourself: is it worth keeping these people and Pages around if you don’t enjoy what they have to offer anymore? If the answer to that question is no, then cut them out!

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2. Filter.

Ever wanted to filter out an overzealous friend or relative’s Facebook noise without hurting their feelings by unfriending them? You can! All it takes is a simple, three-step process: 1) locate a post from this person in your Timeline and click the little arrow in the top-right corner. This will cause a drop-down menu to appear. 2) Click “I don’t want to see this.” When you do this, that specific post will be hidden from your Timeline. 3) If you want to take it further and radically diminish the number of posts from that person, click “See less from [name of the person]”. This will ensure that you see fewer posts from that person, without removing them from your friends’ list! Bonus: You can do this with Groups and Pages, too! All you need to do is follow exactly the same three steps.

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3. Learn.

Now that we’ve learned how to minimize distractions and noise on our Timelines, it’s time to look at some of the positive aspects of the social network! As we primarily use Facebook for staying in touch with our friends and relatives and keeping abreast of the latest developments in each other’s lives, we don’t necessarily realize that Facebook is a brilliant learning tool, too. Indeed, whether you’re trying to learn a new languagebeef up your professional skills or simply be more inspired and motivated on a daily basis, chances are there’s a Page for that! Simply search for your topic of interest in the Search bar at the top of the homepage and follow the Pages that are relevant to you. Bonus: Now that you have either unfollowed or filtered the notifications of the people and Pages you’re no longer interested in, the content from the Pages you do want to see will be much more prominent on your Timeline!

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4. Mingle.

You can learn and get inspired on Facebook, but guess what? You can also meet interesting people and network with them!  Just as there is a Page for your every learning need, there is likely also a Group, too. Consider this: if you’re a solo entrepreneur, it can be difficult to find like-minded people in your entourage and mingle with others who get what you’re going through. Joining a Facebook Group where people like you hang out is a brilliant way to get advice and support on issues that might trouble you, or simply make new friends! Bonus: If you’re an online business owner, Facebook Groups are a great place to get feedback on your products or services and to find prospective clients! Think about it: these are all people who share the same issues and predicaments. They likely also operate in the same industry as you. Therefore, they are probably the best equipped to give you advice on what you’re offering, and who knows – they might be so into it that they want a piece of it, too!

5. Share.

Whether you have ideas of your own that you think would be helpful to others, or a business that you would like to get more eyeballs on, Facebook is a brilliant option for sharing your views or your products with the world! If you’re operating on a non-profit basis, create a Page that your friends, relatives and fans can follow to get the latest news that you want to send out. This makes life easier for both you and for them: for you, because it saves you the trouble of having to contact people separately about a given topic or event; for them, because all the people who follow your Page can get the information they need in one place. Easy! If you’re a business owner and are willing to spend a little time and money, Facebook can be an excellent way to promote your products and build a solid online reputation. The social network’s advertising system is extremely well thought-out, and will enable you to get your posts out to the right audience for a reasonable price. Having a company Page will also give your clients and fans a rendez-vous point to keep up to date on your latest news. In short: Facebook can work hard for you, if you let it: simply filter out the content that doesn’t interest you and follow the Pages and Groups that are useful to you! Don’t be afraid to take advantage of its many perks for your personal life and your business.

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Last Updated on February 21, 2019

How to Stop Information Overload

How to Stop Information Overload

Information overload is a creature that has been growing on the Internet’s back since its beginnings. The bigger the Internet gets, the more information there is. The more quality information we see, the more we want to consume it. The more we want to consume it, the more overloaded we feel.

This has to stop somewhere. And it can.

As the year comes to a close, there’s no time like the present to make the overloading stop.

But before I explain exactly what I mean, let’s discuss information overload in general.

How Serious Is Information Overload?

The sole fact that there’s more and more information published online every single day is not the actual problem. Only the quality information becomes the problem.

This sounds kind of strange…but bear with me.

When we see some half-baked blog posts we don’t even consider reading, we just skip to the next thing. But when we see something truly interesting — maybe even epic — we want to consume it.

We even feel like we have to consume it. And that’s the real problem.

No matter what topic we’re interested in, there are always hundreds of quality blogs publishing entries every single day (or every other day). Not to mention all the forums, message boards, social news sites, and so on.

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The amount of epic content on the Internet these days is so big that it’s virtually impossible for us to digest it all. But we try anyway.

That’s when we feel overloaded. If you’re not careful, one day you’ll find yourself reading the 15th blog post in a row on some nice WordPress tweaking techniques because you feel that for some reason, “you need to know this.”

Information overload is a plague. There’s no vaccine, there’s no cure. The only thing you have is self-control.

Luckily, you’re not on your own. There are some tips you can follow to protect yourself from information overload and, ultimately, fight it.

But first, admit that information overload is really bad for you.

Why Information Overload Is Bad for You

Information overload stops you from taking action. That’s the biggest problem here.

When you try to consume more and more information every day, you start to notice that even though you’ve been reading tons of articles, watching tons of videos and listening to tons of podcasts, the stream of incoming information seems to be infinite.

Therefore, you convince yourself that you need to be on a constant lookout for new information if you want to be able to accomplish anything in your life, work and/or passion. The final result is that you are consuming way too much information, and taking way too little action because you don’t have enough time for it.

The belief that you need to be on this constant lookout for information is just not true.

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You don’t need every piece of advice possible to live your life, do your work or enjoy your passion.

How to Stop Information Overload (And Start to Achieve More)

So how to recognize the portion of information that you really need? Start with setting goals.

1. Set Your Goals

If you don’t have your goals put in place, you’ll be just running around grabbing every possible advice and thinking that it’s “just what you’ve been looking for.”

Setting goals is a much more profound task than just a way to get rid of information overload. Now by “goals” I don’t mean things like “get rich, have kids, and live a good life”. I mean something much more within your immediate grasp. Something that can be achieved in the near future — like within a month (or a year) at most.

Basically, something that you want to attract to your life, and you already have some plan on how you’re going to make it happen. So no hopes and dreams, just actionable, precise goals.

Then once you have your goals, they become a set of strategies and tactics you need to act upon.

2. Know What to Skip When Facing New Information

Once you have your goals, plans, strategies and tasks, you can use them to decide what information is really crucial.

First of all, if the information you’re about to read has nothing to do with your current goals and plans, then skip it. You don’t need it.

If it does, then ask yourself these questions:

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  • Will you be able to put this information into action immediately?
  • Does it have the potential to maybe alter your nearest actions/tasks?
  • Is it so incredible that you absolutely need to take action on it right away?

If the information is not actionable in a day or two, then skip it.

(You’ll forget about it anyway.)

And that’s basically it. Digest only what can be used immediately. If you have a task that you need to do, consume only the information necessary for getting this one task done, nothing more.

You need to be focused in order to have clear judgment, and be able to decide whether some piece of information is mandatory or redundant.

Self-control comes handy too. It’s quite easy to convince yourself that you really need something just because of poor self-control. Try to fight this temptation, and be as ruthless about it as possible – if the information is not matching your goals and plans, and you can’t take action on it in the near future, then SKIP IT.

3. Be Aware of the Minimal Effective Dose

There’s a thing called the MED – Minimal Effective Dose. I was first introduced to this idea by Tim Ferriss. In his book The 4-Hour BodyTim illustrates the minimal effective dose by talking about medical drugs.

Everybody knows that every pill has a MED, and after that specific dose, no other positive effects occur, only some negative side effects if you overdose big.

Consuming information is somewhat similar. You need just a precise amount of it to help you to achieve your goals and put your plans into life.

Everything more than that amount won’t improve your results any further. And if you try to consume too much of it, it will eventually stop you from taking any action altogether.

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4. Don’t Procrastinate by Consuming More Information

Probably one of the most common causes of consuming ridiculous amounts of information is the need to procrastinate. By reading yet another article, we often feel that we are indeed working, and that we’re doing something good – we’re learning, which in result will make us a more complete and educated person.

This is just self-deception. The truth is we’re simply procrastinating. We don’t feel like doing what really needs to be done – the important stuff – so instead we find something else, and convince ourselves that “that thing” is equally important. Which is just not true.

Don’t consume information just for the sake of it. It gets you nowhere.

The focus of this article is not on how to stop procrastinating, but if you’re having such issue, I recommend you read this:

Procrastination – A Step-By-Step Guide to Stop Procrastinating

Summing It Up

As you can see, information overload can be a real problem and it can have a sever impact on your productivity and overall performance.

I know I have had my share of problems with it (and probably still have from time to time). But creating this simple set of rules helps me to fight it, and to keep my lizard brain from taking over.

I hope it helps you too, especially as we head into a new year with a new chance at setting ourselves up for success.

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Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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