Before Breakfast - Second Cup: Enjoy social media without wasting time

Smart strategies for limiting social media breaks Learn more about your ad-choices at

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Welcome to before breakfast a production of iHeartRadio.

Good morning. This is Laura. Welcome to the before breakfast podcast. Today's tip is about how to enjoy social media responsibly without losing hours down rabbit hole that you didn't mean to jump into.

Every year new surveys point out how much time people spend on social media and messaging platforms one recent report claimed that among people who do use the internet. The average was 142 minutes per day or 2 hours and 22 minutes. This is quite a bit of time just for comparison's sake if you use that time to read War and Peace instead you'd be done in less than 2 weeks and it's not short book. Of course. This time isn't all wasted some is sure but the amount of time we spend on social media is Complicated by the reality that these days many people do need to be plugged in as part of their jobs. Maybe they do digital marketing or Communications or they work for policy groups that need to be aware of the new Cycle Plus plenty of us want to know what people in our Industries are talking about. These are absolutely legitimate uses of work time and preclude swearing off social media completely.

The problem is that you might go on Twitter to check up. What a client's competitor is talking about and then all of a sudden you're watching cat videos people who use social media professionally are no more immune to this then the rest of us. So I've been talking lately with people who do use social media professionally about how they manage their time. How do they focus on the necessary parts of social media was giving the rest. What can the rest of us learn from them?

The first recognized that social media like email to fill in cracks of time around other things. You can check headlines on Twitter or your competitors YouTube videos and chunks of 10 minutes or less, but you probably won't write an op-ed or press release or give your direct report a thoughtful critique of her proposed strategy in 10 minutes to build your daily schedule around the big stuff. You might seem to work on big stuff for 45 minutes and then you could spend a few minutes on social channels.

2nd put some intention into those social media breaks people who do this professionally take the time to cure a list of accounts that they find worth following. Yes. There's always the possibility of serendipitous gold but you have to scroll through a lot of stuff to get there and it might not be worth the time in any case if you follow a diverse group of thoughtful people in your industry or in your area of interest, you will see pretty much anything that's being discussed. The nature of social media is that you can rely somewhat on other people to do the searching for you. I'd add that unless you do have a really good professional reason. It's not worth following any accounts that tend to upset you thoughtful disagreements are fine, but drama and personal attacks aren't worth the mental space focus on quality.

3rd and just as important. You also need to identify an end of the social media scrolling cycle many of us keep going until we realize that we've just kept going or something interrupts us people who do this professionally might decide to look at a specific group of 10 accounts during a check at the end of that cycle. They move on if you have a really difficult time setting an end like this will then set a timer. Well, I don't recommend snoozing in the morning when you're trying to get out of bed using a 9 minute timer for social media breaks could be smart think of it is using the snooze function on your phone for good.

Finally the best way to keep social media and check is to be more proactive about your leisure time. Cal Newports book digital minimalism has a longer discussion of this if you'd like to check that out. It turned out that breaks at work or one thing but the biggest social media benches tend to happen at other times namely at night after the kids are going to bed or when you're hanging out around the house on the weekends when you don't have ideas about what else you like to do with yourself social media is a very easy option. You don't have to dress up and you don't have to hire a babysitter but there are plenty of more rewarding ways to spend this time consider various forms of low-energy analog fun, like doing jigsaw puzzles for crossword puzzles coloring an adult coloring books are doing a craft that is cross stitching or knitting or read it. I know that when I'm really into a good book, I spend a lot less time on Instagram.

When I don't have a good book, well, that's when I actually get that sad message that I'm all caught up, which is probably not a noteworthy achievement.

What do you do to enjoy social media responsibly, please? Let me know. You can email me at before breakfast podcast at In the meantime, this is Laura. Thanks for listening. And here's to making the most of our time.

Everybody I'd love to hear from you. You can send me your tips of your questions or anything else. Just connect with me on Twitter Facebook and Instagram at before breakfast pod. That's be the number for then breakfast pod. You can also shoot me an email before breakfast podcast at that before breakfast is spelled out with all the letters. Thanks so much. I look forward to staying in touch.

Before breakfast is a production of iHeartRadio from war podcast from iHeartRadio visit the iHeartRadio app Apple podcasts or wherever you listen to your favorite shows.

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