How to use Social Media Mindfully: 4 Ways to Use Social Media with Intention
I have a confession: I’m super guilty of spending far too much time on social media when I should have been focused and in creation mode - and when I say spending time on social media, I mean scrolling through Instagram and confusing it with “work”.
Have you done this too?
When you’re a creative business owner and most of your job largely centers around social media it’s easy to blur the lines between using it intentionally i.e to market your business and build your community vs. spending mindlessly time scrolling.
Spending excessive time on the latter means getting caught up in comparison mode and spiraling into the negative mindset that you and your message isn’t enough.
And worse? You don’t move forward on your big ideas because you end up second guessing yourself and feeling like you don’t measure up!
Thing is, the way social media is designed by sending you little dose of dopamine each time you get a notification, it keeps you coming back for more! Hence, when the habit of spending so much time on social media starts affecting your mindset and productivity - it’s a vicious cycle that needs to be broken STAT!
Social media is simply a vehicle to market your business and build your community - that’s it.
The truth is, you ARE enough and there is more than enough room for you sharing your gifts with the world.
But when your focus is on the external world and what everyone else is doing, you will always find someone who is farther along than you.
The trick is to stay in your own lane and focus your energy on what you can control: which is how you spend your energy and time.
Wouldn’t you rather be in a positive frame of mind so it meant you could spend all of that time in creation mode and working towards the big goals you set for yourself?
Ok, so today I’m going to share 4 simple habits I’ve implemented which have completely transformed how use social media and has radically improved my mood and skyrocketed my productivity, which means I’m focused on making my dreams happen!
Not looking at my phone first thing in the morning.
This was a terrible habit I’d got myself into where I’d keep my phone by my bed and as soon as I woke up, I’d be checking my email and scrolling through Instagram.
Starting the day like this automatically puts you in the comparison mindset before you’ve even gotten out of bed, so how could you possibly expect to do your best work when you start the day this way?
Creating a morning routine is the foundation of establishing positive habits that support you building the business of your dreams - and that begins with not checking your phone first thing!
Now I keep my phone on airplane mode overnight and then I put my phone in my bedside drawer so I’m not tempted to look at it.
Setting this habit is hard in the beginning but it becomes second nature once your brain goes into autopilot mode and then you don’t even miss it!
2. Creating before consuming.
Once I’d mastered this habit and got into a positive morning routine where I didn’t look at my phone before I meditated and reviewed my goals, things were great.
But what I wasn’t mindful of was the bad habit of checking my phone as soon as I’d reviewed my goals.
Yep, there I was, getting sucked into the social media vortex again!
Which meant that by the time I was due to start work, I’d already consumed so much content that it was impacting my creativity and became hard to distinguish between my ideas and the noise going on out there.
Have you done this too?
So, the next boundary I set in place was the rule of not looking at any form of content specifically - social media and checking email - before I had created a piece of content that would be of value to my community. This could be a blog post, social media post, email or any kind of content aligned with my overall goals.
This has been a game changer!
Now, whenever I go to create a piece of content it’s intentional and coming from a place of truly serving my community.
3. Setting a time limit on social media apps.
When the screen time app first came out, I gave it a go, but I wasn’t really committed to creating any habits around using it. But once I began raising my awareness around the impact social media had on my productivity, I instantly became more mindful of the time I was spending on the various apps. And it wasn’t pretty!
Enter: screen time.
The app itself isn’t magic, which means you can still open the apps if you’re really intent on doing so, but what it does do is create a space between your accessing the app, allowing you to be mindful and ask yourself if opening it is going to serve you.
When you get into the habit of asking yourself: is this supporting the life I am trying to create? this instantly shifts your energy and snaps you back to present so you can make the best decision in any given moment.
I’ve set my screen time up so that I can only access social media apps for 1 hour a day. This means I need to post, show up on Stories and reply to comments etc all within the hour which means I’m much more efficient and less likely to get sucked into the social media vortex.
4. Switching to night mode at 9pm.
Did you know that the blue light your screen emits affects our circadian rhythm? This means that staring at your screen - phone or computer of an evening - could be negatively impacting your ability to have a restful nights’ sleep!
My habit of scrolling on my phone of an evening was definitely not serving me, so by establishing a boundary meant I could practice self-care and prepare for a good night’s sleep.
The screen time app makes it super easy to set this up on your phone and allows you to be more mindful of how you spend your time each evening.
There you have it! I hope these tips were helpful and have given you some ideas on how you could create some positive habits around how you use social media.
To help get you started, I’ve created a 30 day habit tracker so you can set your intentions and track your progress.
Get it free when you sign up for my newsletter below!
It takes 21 days to establish a habit, and committing to your positive habits for 30 days allows new neural pathways in your brain to form, which means you’ll be much more likely to stick to them!
I’d love to know, how would creating boundaries around social media help improve your focus and productivity? And if you have any other tips on using social media more mindfully, let me know!