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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 July 13, 2020

How Not to Feel Overwhelmed at Work & Take Control of Your Day

How Not to Feel Overwhelmed at Work & Take Control of Your Day

Overwhelm is a pernicious state largely caused by the ever-increasing demands on our time and the distractions that exist all around us. It creeps up on us and can, in its extreme form, leave us feeling anxious, stressed and exhausted.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed at work, here are 6 strategies you can follow that will reduce the feeling of overwhelm; leaving you calmer, in control and a lot less stressed.

1. Write Everything down to Offload Your Mind

The first thing you can do when you begin to feel overwhelmed is to write everything down that is on your mind.

Often people just write down all the things they think they have to do. This does help, but a more effective way to reduce overwhelm is to also write down everything that’s on your mind.

For example, you may have had an argument with your colleague or a loved one. If it’s on your mind write it down. A good way to do this is to draw a line down the middle of the page and title one section “things to do” and the other “what’s on my mind”.

The act of writing all this down and getting it out of your head will begin the process of removing your feeling of overwhelm. Writing things down can really change your life.

2. Decide How Long It Will Take to Complete Your To-Dos

Once you have ‘emptied your head,’ go through your list and estimate how long it will take to complete each to-do.

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As you go through your list, you will find quite a few to-dos will only take you five or ten minutes. Others will take longer, often up to several hours.

Do not worry about that at this stage. Just focus on estimating how long you will need to complete each task to the best of your ability. Here’s How to Cultivate a More Meaningful To Do List.

3. Take Advantage of Parkinson’s Law

Now here’s a little trick I learned a long time ago. Parkinson’s Law states that work will fill the time you have available to complete it, and us humans are terrible at estimating how long something will take:((Odhable: Genesis of Parkinson’s Law))

    This is why many people are always late. They think it will only take them thirty minutes to drive across town when previous experience has taught them it usually takes forty-five minutes to do so because traffic is often bad but they stick to the belief it will only take thirty minutes. It’s more wishful thinking than good judgment.

    We can use Parkinson’s Law to our advantage. If you have estimated that to write five emails that desperately need a reply to be ninety minutes, then reduce it down to one hour. Likewise, if you have estimated it will take you three hours to prepare your upcoming presentation, reduce it down to two hours.

    Reducing the time you estimate something will take gives you two advantages. The first is you get your work done quicker, obviously. The second is you put yourself under a little time pressure and in doing so you reduce the likelihood you will be distracted or allow yourself to procrastinate.

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    When we overestimate how long something will take, subconsciously our brains know we have plenty of time and so it plays tricks on us and we end up checking reviews of the Apple Watch 4 or allow our colleagues to interrupt us with the latest office gossip.

    Applying a little time pressure prevents this from happening and we get more focused and more work done.

    4. Use the Power of Your Calendar

    Once you have your time estimates done, open up your calendar and schedule your to-dos. Go through your to-dos and schedule time on your calendar for doing those tasks. Group tasks up into similar tasks.

    For emails that need attention on your to-do list, schedule time on your calendar to deal with all your emails at once. Likewise, if you have a report to write or a presentation to prepare, add these to your calendar using your estimated time as a guide for how long each will take.

    Seeing these items on your calendar eases your mind because you know you have allocated time to get them done and you no longer feel you have no time. Grouping similar tasks together keeps you in a focused state longer and it’s amazing how much work you get done when you do this.

    5. Make Decisions

    For those things you wrote down that are on your mind but are not tasks, make a decision about what you will do with each one. These things are on your mind because you have not made a decision about them.

    If you have an issue with a colleague, a friend or a loved one, take a little time to think about what would be the best way to resolve the problem. More often than not just talking with the person involved will clear the air and resolve the problem.

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    If it is a more serious issue, then decide how best to deal with it. Talk to your boss, a colleague and get advice.

    Whatever you do, do not allow it to fester. Ignoring the problem will not make it go away. You need to make a decision to deal with it and the sooner you do so the sooner the problem will be resolved. (You can take a look at this guide on How To Make Good Decisions All The Time.)

    I remember long ago, when I was in my early twenties and had gone mad with my newly acquired credit cards. I discovered I didn’t have the money to pay my monthly bills. I worried about it for days, got stressed and really didn’t know what to do. Eventually, I told a good friend of mine of the problem. He suggested I called the credit card company to explain my problem. The next day, I plucked up the courage to call the company, explained my problem and the wonderful person the other end listened and then suggested I paid a smaller amount for a couple of months.

    This one phone call took no more than ten minutes to make, yet it solved my problem and took away a lot of the stress I was feeling at the time. I learned two very valuable lessons from that experience:

    The first, don’t go mad with newly acquired credit cards! And the second, there’s always a solution to every problem if you just talk to the right person.

    6. Take Some Form of Action

    Because overwhelm is something that creeps up on us, once we feel overwhelmed (and stressed as the two often go together), the key is to take some form of action.

    The act of writing everything down that is bothering you and causing you to feel overwhelmed is a great place to start. Being able to see what it is that is bothering you in a list form, no matter how long that list is, eases the mind. You have externalized it.

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    It also means rather than these worries floating around in a jumbled mess inside your head, they are now visible and you can make decisions easier about what to do about them. Often it could be asking a colleague for a little help, or it could be you see you need to allocate some focused time to get the work done. The important thing is you make a decision on what to do next.

    Overwhelm is not always caused by a feeling of having a lack of time or too much work, it can also be caused by avoiding a decision about what to do next.

    The Bottom Line

    Make a decision, even if it is to just talk to someone about what to do next. Making a decision about how you will resolve something on its own will reduce your feelings of overwhelm and start you down the path to a resolution one way or another.

    When you follow these strategies to can say goodbye to your overwhelm and gain much more control over your day.

    More Tips for Reducing Work Stress

    Featured photo credit: Andrei Lazarev via unsplash.com

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