I'm not sure about you, but I often find myself lost inside social media without even realizing that it occurred. Sure a large part of my day happens at my computer, but that doesn't mean that I need to give up my own power, does it?
Have you ever opened up Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest with the intention of quickly checking your account–get in and get out–and suddenly an hour went by without you even noticing? I'm not sure about you, but I've been there and during those times I wonder if I'm controlling my social media presence or if it is controlling me.
This brings us to the question of whether or not it is even possible to be mindful while using our favorite social media platform?
Can this type of reality really occur?
Throughout my years of using social media for business, I've picked up some good and some not so good habits. However, the most important ingredient is setting the intention to become mindful and conscious while using social media.
5 Effective Habits for Maintaining Consciousness Online
1. Become aware. Before you can move any further towards conscious social media usage, you first need to become aware of your current patterns. What habits do you currently have in place that keep you focused or unfocused? Do you constantly switch from one site to another while using the Internet? Do you continuously scroll down your feed to find out what's happening with your friends? Do you check personal pages while on work time? Don't worry about the answer or make yourself feel guilty, just become aware of your starting point.
2. Create a social media vision. After you know where you are starting, it is time to figure out your ideal vision. How do you want your business day to look and feel? How do you want to spend your time on social media? What is the purpose of visiting your platforms? Become crystal clear on your purpose for being there and how you need to spend your time.
3. Set boundaries. Even if your entire day is spent online or on social media for your business, that doesn't mean that you need to waste your time there. Give yourself limits and boundaries so you know when to open up your accounts and when to keep them closed. For example, if you want to check your pages in the morning, at lunch, and at the end of the day, then set that intention. If you would rather check them every 2 hours, then set that intention. Be sure to decide what will work for you and what's realistic.
4. Put it in the books. If you have a habit of wasting time on social media, then you may need to write in your time on your schedule. Depending on the boundaries you have set up, you might want to add checking your profile to your to do list with a time to help you stay focused.
5. Alarms and timers are awesome. There are two parts to this habit: First, give yourself time to work. For example, tell yourself you are going to work in 90 minute chunks. During this time, you don't open your email or your social media. Second, when the 90 minutes are up, set a timer for 15 minutes to monitor your sites. At the end of 15 minutes do a self check in. Ask yourself if what you are doing needs to be completed or if you can stop and get back to business.
Take it from me, these habits are not formed overnight. Although they work well, it does require mindfulness and focus. The key is not to beat yourself up if you find that you've slipped. Instead, stand up, brush off your pants, and try again.
You always have the control–Sometimes you just need to take it back.
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Do you have any great tips or habits to stay mindful online? I'd love to hear them 🙂