The 4 Biggest Social Media Time Wasters – And How To Avoid Them

Social media time wasters

The 4 Biggest Social Media Time Wasters – And How To Avoid Them

You are nervous.

The calendar says today's the day you are going to spend time on your social media activities for your business.

You have tried to do it before though and at the end of the day, you always feel discouraged because you didn't feel like you accomplished much.

Does this sound familiar?

Don't worry, we've all been there, we've all wasted time on social media.

I'm not suggesting social media is a waste of time though.

Social media can be a waste of time for your business - if you're focusing on the wrong areas.Click To Tweet

In this article, I'm going to show you four of the biggest social media time wasters – and how to avoid them.

This way you can be more productive when you're working on social media marketing for your business.

The 4 Biggest Social Media Time Wasters

1. Checking Social Media Activity

One of the biggest ways to waste time on social media is to check your social media activity.

If you are at dinner with your friends or family, don't sit at the table and check how many followers you have on Twitter or how many likes your latest post got on Facebook.

Sure, it's nice to see that your efforts are paying off.

But it's disrespectful towards the people you are with. In addition, you are not truly being present and enjoying the precious moments with them.

And if your ten year old cousin is checking their Facebook account, it doesn't mean you should too.

Be an adult and set a good example for them.

My point is that you don't need to constantly be online.

You will not be present and fully enjoy your life. You'll also be stealing valuable time from your schedule and you will never truly be able to relax.

Let me use an example. I have a friend that checks his Facebook account at least ten minutes every hour.

While ten minutes doesn't seem like a lot of time, it adds up.

If he sleeps about eight hours, that results in 10 minutes x 16 = 160 minutes, which is 2 hours and 40 minutes of time.

That is 2 hours and 40 minutes per day he wastes on social media!

The Solution:

Everytime you stop to check your social media activity, it breaks your concentration.

It is important to check your social media activities, but try to keep it to a minimum. For example, block out time on your calendar in the morning and afternoon.

This way you'll be able to focus on offline tasks, but can still make time for your online ones as well.

And believe it or not, if you don't check your social media accounts every hour, they'll still be there waiting for you.
 

2. Engaging With the Wrong Content

A second social media time waster is reading sites that won't help your business.

These include checking your Facebook news feed to see what your friends are up to, following a gossip site on Twitter and so on.

While it's tempting to read this content, it isn't helping your business so don't let it take up space in your brain!

The Solution:

The best use of your time is to focus on result-producing activities.

It might seem like you spent three hours on Facebook, but what were you really looking at?

Were you responding to comments someone left on your Facebook Page or were you looking at photos from your friends's latest vacation?

If you absolutely need to keep up with this type of content, consider setting up interest lists on Facebook or a Twitter list.

This way you can organize the accounts you want to check and maximize your time.
 

3. Doing “research”

Another one of the social media time wasters I often come across is "doing research."

When you have your social media accounts open and you're starting to work on a task, do you get the urge to check Facebook?

Often, this can lead to bouts where we think we're being productive by checking our news feed.

We're really just procrastinating and here's why.

Spending time browsing your social media accounts isn't a good use of time, especially if you're trying to grow your business.

If you're just spending your time looking at what your competitors are doing, you're not getting ahead but they are.

The Solution:

Stop doing research on the fly. It's a poor use of your time. You should constantly be working on your most important tasks.

If research is important, put it on your to do list. Use a strategic and planned approach when you do it.

Nothing is feeding the procrastination beast more than spontaneous activities and not sticking to the schedule.
 

4. Multitasking

Do you want to do several activities with below mediocre quality, or do you want to do ONE activity with awesome quality?

Studies have shown that multitasking is not more efficient than focusing on one single task at a time.

You might be extremely good at multitasking or at least think you are.

Multitasking can work if you combine the right tasks together.

For example, walking and listening to a podcast.

Some tasks don't work well together though such as trying to write a blog post and switching to check your social media activities for just a couple of minutes.

In this case, you can't focus on one task because each time you switch, you have to start over and refocus your mind.

This leads to a loss in productivity.

Now imagine how much more productive you could be if you focused on a single task at a time?

Here are a few examples:

  • Finish and publish the article you were writing first before logging in to check your Facebook account
  • When in a meeting, be present and avoid checking your email or social media channels - even if the meeting is over the phone
  • Plan out tomorrow's schedule before watching that funny YouTube video your friend sent you

Hopefully you get the point.

If you still need convincing, download my free eBook that shows you how to double your productivity in seven days.

And if you want to learn more about focusing on a single task, check out the book, Singletasking: Get More Done-One Thing at a Time.
 

The Solution:

Instead of trying to multitask, focus on doing one single task at a time.

You don't have to complete the task, just make progress on it.
 

What to do next

If you are currently doing any of social media time wasters listed above, fret not.

Try to stop doing just one of them this week and see how much time you can save.

I know it will be difficult at first to stop doing an activity you are used to doing.

Breaking a habit takes time. The key is to start!

If you are not able to completely stop doing one of the social media time wasters at first, just try to reduce the amount of time you spend doing it.

Maybe you save ten minutes one day and eventually work your way up to one extra hour saved per day?

Remember, Rome wasn't built in a day.

Now that you're aware of some of the biggest social media time wasters, go out there and get your time back!

In your experience, what are some of the ways you are currently wasting time on social media?

Share them with us on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

About The Author
Profile photo of Tor Refsland
Tor Refsland Tor Refsland is passionate about helping online entrepreneurs save time and increase results. If you want to become more productive, be sure to download his free eBook to learn how to double your productivity in 7 days.