The other day after I came home from work and got Bradley into bed, I looked around the house at the chaos that had taken over. Dishes piling up, toys all over the living room, laundry basket overflowing. It was a Thursday, so I knew the weekend was coming up and I would be able to get to everything then… but who wants to spend their whole weekend doing chores?
Of course part of this ties into my whole premise of creating the blog and trying to find the ‘best of both worlds’. Regardless, I figured that there are people out there who manage to KEEP a house clean (for the most part) and work full time with children. It can be done. So why was I falling so short on time?
I could do the math breakdown, but when you’re caring for a child, no day is the same (as I’m sure you know) so it’s hard to put a number on free-time. Instead of trying to makes sense of it on paper, I started being conscious of my behaviors and how I was spending my time after I got home everyday. You know what I noticed?
After I would get Bradley to sleep, I’d walk out to the living room and hop on my phone to check social media. To me it was a harmless 5-10 minutes. At least that’s what it felt like. Turns out I was easily spending 20-40 minutes cruising through different posts (and different sites!). Not very conducive to being productive. I was doing this EVERY DAY too! There’s a couple hours in this part of the day alone, that I was wasting away staring at my phone! This didn’t include the time I spent before bed, or when I’d wake up. How I’d do it while I was eating my Breakfast, Lunch, or even Dinner. Apparently, I’ve been spending a LOT of time on my phone (no wonder it’s always out of battery).
If you pay attention, how much time are you spending on social media (or your phone) in a day? Do you wake up and check your phone before you get out of bed? Look at it during your lunch break at work? Or when you get home right away as a way to unwind like I do?
If you’re thinking about it and having that ‘OMG, I didn’t even realize’ moment. Don’t panic. I’ve actually come up with a couple ways to combat this newly recognized addiction since I knew I needed to kick the habit fast.
WAYS TO COPE:
- Our phones and social media have been integrated into nearly every aspect of our lives. Most houses nowadays don’t even have a landline (I know I don’t). So the act of getting rid of our phones or deleting all social media accounts isn’t exactly practical, I get that. In order to successfully minimize the amount of time we waste on these avenues, we need to be realistic about the final outcome. There’s no sense in deactivating all of our accounts, if we’re going to open them back up in a month or two!
- The next step is to start limiting the amount of time we spend on each of these platforms. I find this as a way to unwind from the day, so to remove it entirely from that part of my day would really lower my chances of success. That being said, I’ve started setting a timer on my phone FIRST for however long I’m willing to spend browsing and relaxing before attacking the chores around my house. Typically, I set it for 15-20 minutes. You could even go a step further and restrict yourself from going on until you get ‘X, Y, & Z’ done.
- Another option that can be utilized for the dedicated person (or for those who have been slowly cutting back continuously) would be to delete the apps off of your phone all together. If the sites you visit are only available through use of an actual computer, you’ll be less likely to spend time on them. Making it HARDER, not easier to access the distraction. Remove the temptation from your finger tips. Soon enough, you’ll start thinking of it less and less.
The goal from all of this isn’t to make yourself miserable and completely disconnected from society. It’s just time we were honest with ourselves about how we’re spending our time vs how productive we’d like to be. If you have any other suggestions for cutting back from social media, please share them below! I’d love to hear ’em!