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Few people come to the new year with a goal of spending more time on social media. Instead, they want to use it less, to stop wasting so much time scrolling, or to use it more purposefully.
The good news? Those goals are SO VERY POSSIBLE, even though they can feel out of reach if you're locked in the vicious cycle of reaching for your phone every few minutes. To cut down on your time aimlessly scrolling, though, you'll need a better plan than just *hoping* things will get better. The most effective antidote we've seen? Having an enjoyable, easy activity you can turn to whenever the urge strikes to scroll - and we've got plenty of those for you! A few more tips:
Choose when you'll connect. We're big fans of social media when it's used intentionally! It can be a beautiful place of connection, encouragement, learning, and inspiration. But, for many of us, these apps are just too addictive to leave up to our willpower. Without a plan, our fingers will wander over to click open the app more often than we'd like. Setting boundaries around when you'll sign on in advance will allow you to enjoy the time you're on the app more, knowing it's exactly what you're supposed to be doing - no guilt needed!
A tip: A harder boundary is often easier than doing something “less.” By committing to, for example, a hard boundary of signing on just once a day, you can reduce the number of times you ask your brain to decide whether or not you're going to open the app. Decision fatigue is real, and most of us would rather keep our willpower for other things!
Identify the times you're most tempted to scroll. Is it first thing in the morning? Waiting for your kids in the carpool line? At night in front of the TV? In bed before you turn in for the night? Plan ahead for these moments and make proactive decisions: charge your phone in the kitchen instead of on your bedside table. Leave a book you love in the car. Set your latest embroidery project or coloring book next to your favorite chair. If the alternative is just as easy as picking up your phone, more often than not, you'll choose it!
Recognize what you're trading your time for. This can be a rude wake-up call, but it's sometimes necessary. If you feel constantly strapped for time or if you're not making as much progress as you'd like on your goals, force yourself to look at how much time per day you're spending on social media apps (the US average is 2 hours and 3 minutes - you can find yours within the settings of your phone). This might be just the nudge you need to spend that time more productively.
And on that note... here are 46 productive things you can do instead of scrolling on your phone today. We hope they inspire you to start prioritizing what matters most to you!
- Unsubscribe from email promotional emails
- Plan a coffee date with a friend
- Delete photos from your camera roll
- Floss your teeth
- Go to bed early
- Take a walk
- Write a thank you note
- Read a magazine
- Check off a daily goal on your Tending List
- Organize your bedside table
- Volunteer your time
- Make a to-do list, and check one thing off your to-do list
- Write out a social media mission statement
- Wash the dishes
- Sort through a pile of clutter
- Make your bed
- Choose ten pieces of clothing to donate
- Read a book
- Learn a new language
- Call your best friend
- Kiss your significant other
- Take out the trash
- Get your finances in order
- Make a sweet treat for your neighbor
- Go to the library, and check out a new book
- Write the Word
- Clean out your pantry
- Do a puzzle with your child
- Write down your goals
- Unload the dishwasher
- Choose one new recipe to try
- Print a few of your favorite photos to display
- Plan a gathering in your home
- Start a gratitude journal
- Reply to five emails in your inbox
- Organize your bathroom cabinet
- Apply for a passport
- Prep your meals for the week
- Reply to your text messages
- Start one load of laundry
- Clean out your junk drawer
- Watch a TED talk
- Organize your desk
- Make an inspiring playlist
We’d love to hear from you! Leave a comment, and tell us what else would you add to this list! The possibilities are endless, and we can’t wait to hear your creativity!
P.S. Looking for a proven system to more of what you want to do instead of aimlessly scrolling? PowerSheets are for you!