Do you find yourself constantly getting sucked into Facebook?
Do you log in to quickly check on a specific post only to find yourself looking at forty slides of celebs with ugly spouses, an hour later?
Do you have a Facebook problem and find yourself in the need of intervention from time to time?
If so, this is the post for you (and maybe me too) 😉
The Facebook Time-Suck
I love Facebook. To be honest, it’s one of my favorite sites on the internet. I thrive when I’m connected to other people and Facebook really helps me connect with friends and family all over the world.
Also, I’m a blogger, and since what I do revolves around the internet, social media is a big part of what I do, Facebook really does give me a place to connect with my readers, and other entrepreneurs who do what I do.
However, I do find myself browsing my news feed every so often and losing track of time.
Since I know that Facebook can be a problem for me, I found myself searching for apps and extensions to help me with productivity. Here are a few resources that have actually helped.
Kill News feed
Kill News Feed is the most useful extension I’ve found to prevent wasted time on Facebook. The number one time-sucking feature on Facebook (for me) is the News Feed.
You log on and all of a sudden there are tons of posts scrolling in front of your face. Some of them are completely pointless and obvious time-wasters. However, if you’re anything like me, it can be difficult to not click play on that cute cat video.
The Kill News Feed extension does exactly what its name suggests; it basically disables your news feed and puts the following note whenever you log in.
When I do that, I don’t want to be distracted. Thanks to this app, I waste significantly less time on Facebook. It’s a beautiful thing.
One of the features of Facebook I really dislike is the ability to send and receive Private Messages.
While this does come in handy from time to time, I find it annoying because I have too many inboxes. I have my business email, personal email, Twitter direct messages and Facebook messages.
I would much rather have one place to check all my messages.
However, since Facebook doesn’t let you disable private messages, I’ve opted for Facebook Unseen; it puts me in control of when I respond to messages.
Here’s how it works:
When someone sends you a private message on Facebook and you check it, it shows the sender that you have read their message.
Once they see that, they generally expect a response within a relatively short period of time.
I used to find myself checking messages sent to me relatively quickly because I didn’t want to miss out on a potentially important message, only to find that it was just someone asking a random question.
However, because that person saw that I’d read the message, I felt guilty not responding immediately.
Facebook Unseen allows me to open messages without the sender knowing. Now I can respond without the pressure of having to respond instantly.
This might seem silly, but it makes me feel much better. I know I can check and respond to messages at my discretion and convenience.
SelfControl goes way beyond Facebook. It lets you set a timer that blocks access to any websites you add to your blacklist for a specified period of time.
Let’s say you work from 8am to 12pm every weekday and want to remain super focused during that time.
All you do is add Facebook (and any other distracting site) to your blacklist and once you start the timer, there’s absolutely nothing you can do to access those sites. Instead, you get the following message.
Even if you restart your computer, you aren’t able to access the site. You just have to wait for the time to pass and then you can access it again.
This app works only on mac, but an alternative for PC is Focus Me.
Rescue Time is useful for gaining an accurate view of where you’re spending your time. Once installed, it runs in the background and then provides a report of where you are actually spending your time, as seen below:
When I first installed RescueTime, I remembered thinking to myself – “Impossible, I don’t spend THAT much time on Facebook.” Unfortunately, the numbers weren’t lying.
According to Robin S. Sharma, “What gets measured, gets improved”. After seeing how much time I was wasting, I started being more intentional about how I spend my time, and the numbers started looking better.
What About You?
Be honest – do you have the same problem I had? How do you deal with it? Are there apps or extensions that you use? Let me know in the comments area below.