Reducing Distraction; Quieting Facebook


A few months ago, I took a moment to organize and collect all the password and login information for all of the websites I use. It took awhile, but let me see very clearly all of the places online I receive information from. What I mean by this is that these are all places where information is given to me, and I take that information in. In most cases, way more comes in than goes out.

Take Basecamp. I use this for project management at work. I get hundreds of updates per week from clients and coworkers about all the bits and bobs of a project; when files are uploaded, if someone has a suggestion, when someone approves a concept, when someone wants to see a color darkened. All kinds of stuff. Instagram is another example. I post a handful of photos each week, but I see dozens a day from the accounts of people I follow, not to mention the captions that are posted along with the photos.

I take in a lot of 'stuff' and I know you probably do to.

I wanted to reduce the stuff I take in, especially after seeing everything listed out. And more importantly, I wanted to better control the 'stuff' and choose when I want to see it.

The biggest offender? Facebook. I manage about 3 dozen pages on Facebook and being on the site daily is a job requirement. I don't want to get sucked in. Don't get me wrong, I love seeing status updates and photos my friends post, but it's a lot to keep up with. And sometimes, mentally tiring.

So, I decided to try something. When I log into Facebook, this is what I see:



It's a totally empty news feed. And, that is a 100% guarantee I can get my work done without distraction. I did this by simply unsubscribing from every single person I am friends with. Every. Single. Person. One. By. One. There's no easier way to do this; I looked.

I also put several lists together of people grouped by how I know them; high school, college, work, clients, summer camp, neighborhood, professional associations, family, yoga, etc. If I want to see what the family is up to, I just click that list, and voila! I see updates from uncles, aunts, cousins and siblings.



The list feature has really helped erase lost time, and helped me actually engage with Facebook in a more meaningful way. Instead of just logging in out of habit and reading through a bunch of stuff, I log in and choose to interact with it. It's different. {Here's a link to Facebook's help page on lists.}

Here's to saving time, or at least being more in control of it!