Declutter Your Social Media to Boost Productivity

With the amount of information online today, it’s so easy to start scrolling through Facebook or Instagram and not realize that you’ve been staring at the screen glassy-eyed for 45 minutes. Social media can have a huge impact on our lives, and the faster we acknowledge that the easier it will be for us to take back control. It’s easy to get caught up in the endless information that we can find online since it makes us feel like we’re being productive, even though all we’re doing is looking at endless pictures of other people’s babies and dogs.

There are a number of strategies that we can employ to help us manage our social media, and control what we see so we don’t spend hours aimlessly scrolling. Here are a few ways that you can declutter your social media to help boost your productivity.

Put the apps out of sight

One of the best things that you can do to help wean yourself off social media is making it much harder to access. A lot of times, you’re on Facebook or Instagram before you even notice what you’re doing because the habit is so ingrained. You can install a website blocker to limit your access during business hours — a browser plugin like StayFocusd can help — or you can just take them off your home screen. If you have the apps on your phone, move them to the second page or put them in a folder, so they’re not the first thing you see when you access your phone.

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Put a halt to notifications

One way that social media can insidiously take over your life is if you allow notifications on your computer or phone. By pinging you every time someone comments on your page or tags you in a status, it makes you feel important like these are updates that you need to respond to immediately.

While some people do use social media to promote their business, if you’re only using it for socializing, there’s no need for notifications. Turn them all off by going into your settings and prepare to feel much less distracted.

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Unsubscribe from junk emails

Another way that social media manages to infiltrate your daily life is through junk mail. There are many products, websites, and businesses that get your information through your Facebook and Google profiles, then send you junk mail based on your stated interests.

If you want to cut down on the amount of junk mail that you’re getting on a daily basis, you can use a service like Unroll.me to easily and quickly unsubscribe from newsletters and mass emails. If you use the service once every few months, you’ll be able to keep new junk mail to a minimum.

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Purge your friends and groups

If you ever feel like you’re logging on to social media and seeing the activity of people you barely know and don’t care about, it’s definitely time to do a purge.

Go through your Facebook friend list or list of people that you follow on Instagram, and remove the people whose updates you’re no longer interested in following. If you’re struggling to figure out who to remove, start with people whose updates make you feel inadequate, jealous, or annoyed every time you see them. It’s hard enough not to compare yourself to people in real life, much fewer people that you only know online.

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Give each social media platform feedback

If you really want to declutter your social media, there are ways that you can give the platform feedback, which will trigger the algorithm to change the way it displays your updates. Take Facebook, for example: on every post on your news feed, it gives you the option to hide the post, which will ensure you see fewer posts like that, snooze an account for 30 days, or unfollow their page completely. If you take some time and go through your news feed giving feedback on each post, you’ll start to see an immediate difference. The same basic idea exists for Instagram, too.

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Get rid of old interests

With older social media sites, like Facebook and Twitter, it’s likely that your account is a mishmash of all your interests from the past five to 10 years. You’re probably following people that you knew in high school, as well as pages from products and businesses that no longer interest you.

If you want to streamline your social media page and ensure you maintain a personal connection between yourself and your friends, a great way to do this is to edit your interests to make sure they reflect what you currently want to be seeing. You can also go through your groups and remove yourself from any that are outdated or defunct.

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Clear out your own profile to increase its usefulness

Like it or not, many people make judgments about others based on what they display and interact with on social media. If you want to ensure that your social media page is an accurate reflection of who you are as a person, take a bit of time to edit your profile information, and update any information that may not be current. Remove the profile details that you wrote in high school, and make sure there’s nothing on there that could be potentially embarrassing to a current or future employer.

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Schedule regular reviews to make sure the platform is working for you

One of the most intimidating things about social media is that if we don’t keep it in check, it can easily return to how it was before we so carefully culled and edited. We follow and add pages without a second thought, and those adds can build up quickly. If you want to keep on top of your feed so you can have a manageable, useful social media profile, schedule reviews once or twice a year, where you can edit your profile, unfollow old or uninteresting accounts, and ensure the platform is working for you.

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Use a service to identify inactive accounts

There are a number of different apps designed to work in conjunction with services like Instagram and Twitter that will go through your list of accounts and identify ones that are inactive. Then, they give you the choice of keeping them in your feed or removing them entirely. Apps like Twitoria for Twitter and Instaghost for Instagram allow you to complete this process in just a few clicks.

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Schedule social media time

If you’ve gone through your social media pages, decluttered everything, and still feel overwhelmed, it might be a good idea to start putting limits on your daily social media usage. You can do this by setting time limits or making a strict schedule for when you’re allowed to access your account.

Instead of going off social media cold-turkey, a lot of people find that limiting their access helps them feel more in control, and less like they’re just scrolling to keep busy. If you use social media for your business, you can schedule posts on a social media content calendar, which takes the pressure off you to be continually creating content.

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Feb 6, 2019