Social media networks are intentionally engineered to keep you looking at them for as long as possible as often as possible. This is what makes it hard to “just check in for a few minutes.” And that’s what can keep us and our students from getting work done efficiently and accurately. Here are a couple of tools and a couple of tips that I’ve been using to limit my social media distractions in the new school year.
Stay Focusd (intentionally misspelled) is a Chrome extension that lets you set a limit for the amount of time that you can view the websites that distract you from getting work done. You can set any time limit that you want for any website(s) that you choose. When you’ve reached your limit for the day you can’t view that site again for twenty-four hours. A video overview of Stay Focusd can be seen here.
Mindful Internet Use is a Chrome extension that is similar in concept to Stay Focusd. The difference is that Mindful Internet Use doesn’t block you from distracting sites it just reminds you that you are wasting your time. It reminds you of this by displaying a motivational quote or a question like “why are you doing this?” Watch a video overview of Mindful Internet Use here.
One of the things that has helped me avoid using Facebook for the last few weeks is removing the mobile app from my phone. I’m starting to think about doing the same for Instagram. Removing the app has forced me to do more productive things on my phone when I would have otherwise wasted time while waiting for dentist appointments and car maintenance appointments.
Finally, Dr. Judson Brewer gave a great TED Talk titled A Simple Way to Break a Bad Habit in which he explains the idea of using mindfulness to break bad habits. My big take-away from Dr. Brewer’s talk was the idea of thinking about why we engage in a bad habit while we’re doing as a means to breaking that habit. I first watched the talk back in January and have since employed the tactic to curtail a couple of bad habits.
A New On-demand Professional Development Course
Last week I launched a new on-demand version of my popular Getting Going With G Suite course. You can sign-up now and complete it at your pace. This week you can register for $30 off the regular price.