It might seem strange for an online business to encourage you to spend less time on social media–especially when we’re hoping you’ll follow us on social media! But we believe that in order to architect a life of excellence, we need to be as deliberate as possible with our time online.
Today we’re sharing some ideas that can help you be wise with your social media usage so that you don’t feel like you’re living on your phone. We’ve also included examples of how our LearnDoBecome team members, Jill Adams, Taryn Wood, and Kristen Archuleta are spending less time on social media.
3 Tips to Consolidate Your Social Media Inboxes
1. Minimize the number of apps you are using.
Where does most of your information come to you? Take a few minutes to look through the apps on your phone and write out a list of apps that you use for social media and/or communication. Also consider social media websites that you access from your computer or that send you email notifications.
How can you eliminate or consolidate your landing spots? This could include things like:
- Setting up notifications to go to your email.
- If you have an app that you use to communicate with one or two people, letting them know you will be switching to an app you use more frequently.
- Setting up messaging apps to come in as text messages.
A great example of this: Jill uses GroupMe to manage days and times for her kids’ practices/games/etc. Because the GroupMe messages are being sent to her Messages app, they can be uploaded easily into Apple calendar, which she has set to sync with her Cozi. This is SOOOOO handy for the almost daily changes and updates to the sports schedules. Having a quick easy way to update the family calendar without opening and entering a whole new event is a big time saver.
Considering your answers to the first two questions, record your streamlined list of apps or websites you are committed to checking.
Want a worksheet to help you do this? We’ve included one in the resources below!
2. Be intentional about your social media usage.
Now that you have a consolidated list of apps you are committed to checking, here are some questions to consider:
- How often would you like to check each app or website?
- When would you like to check notifications? What time of day/day of the week?
- How much time would you like to spend on this app or website?
If you don’t have any notifications, you don’t even need to open the app! 🙂
3. Customize your settings.
Because this differs from app to app, we would encourage you to take a few minutes to explore your options. It seems counterintuitive to spend time here, but a few minutes spent on customizing your notification settings can save you hours in time spent scrolling later on.
Taryn has turned off all visible and audible notifications for Facebook, Facebook Messenger, and Instagram. She knows she will see them when she opens the app or logs in on the computer.
One of our STEP community members avoids the Facebook News Feed on her computer by hiding it with a Chrome extension that replaces the News Feed with an inspirational quote.
Kristen has set up her Facebook so that she doesn’t ever spend time scrolling through the News Feed. What does this look like? We’ve included Kristen’s step-by-step instructions below!
Customizing Your Facebook Settings
1. Customize your “Close Friends” list.
Friend lists on Facebook can be used both to determine who will see your updates and whose updates you want to see. You can add or remove friends from your lists at any time; people won’t be notified when you remove them from a list.
Facebook automatically starts you out with these friend lists: Close Friends, Acquaintances, and Restricted. Here’s what Facebook says about your Close Friends List:
Close Friends: Friends you may want to share exclusively with. You will get notifications when they post, but can turn these extra notifications off at any time.“How can I use lists to organize my friends on Facebook?” Facebook Help Center
I love this feature, because it allows me to easily choose whose posts I would like to see! (If they are on this list, I will get notifications for all their posts.) To add or remove people from this list, you’ll need to open Facebook on your desktop.
From your News Feed, go to the Explore section in the left column and click Friend Lists. (If you don’t see it listed there at first, click “See More.”) From there you can choose your Close Friends list, and then click “Edit Friends” in the top right.
A window will pop up showing you who is currently on this list. Change the dropdown to show all your friends.
From there, you can add or remove people by clicking on their image or name.
2. Customize your notifications for each of your groups.
You can find a list of all your groups under that same Explore section (in the left column of your News Feed on your computer.) You can also find this on your mobile Facebook app by clicking on the groups icon along the bottom of the app.
From there, click into each group and choose how frequently you would like to receive notifications for this group.
3. Customize your notifications for any Pages you like.
You can also find the list of all the Pages you like under the Explore section. On the mobile Facebook app, this can be found by clicking on the hamburger menu, then choosing Pages. Then choose “Liked Pages.”
From there, you can uncheck Pages to remove them from your Liked Pages. (This will also stop any notifications from those Pages.) You can also click into a Page to customize your notification settings (under the “Following” dropdown on the desktop app or the three dots on the mobile app.)
4. Use your Facebook Notification Center as an inbox.
This is where it all comes together! When you open Facebook, it automatically takes you to your News Feed. This News Feed is an endless scroll of updates from friends, ads, and notifications from your groups. Instead of getting caught in the endless scroll, I skip right over to the Notification Center (the bell icon with a red badge indicating the number of unseen notifications.)
From there, I access my now-curated list of updates from friends, groups and pages I’m following. I access this list almost solely from my mobile Facebook app. I simply click on a notification to see the content in full, swipe to the right to go back to the full list, and then press the three dots to pull up the option to “Remove this notification” when I’m done looking at it.
If there is a post that I would like to access again in the future, I press the three dots on the top right of the post to access the option to “Save post.” I’ve created collections of Saved items, so that I can easily find the post I saved. (You could have these titles correspond to the categories you use in Pinterest–or other apps.) Some examples of my collections include:
- Personal Development – This is where I put posts relating to courses I’m taking, personal development work I’m doing, etc. that I know I will want to reference later. If it’s something I decide I want to keep long term, I will add these links to my notes.
- Day One – This is where I put posts I would like to add to my digital journal. Once I’ve added them (I do this in batches), I “unsave” the post.
- Recipes – All those fun videos of delicious recipes I want to try go here. From here they go into my recipe manager, Paprika.
- Pictures for Mylio – Pictures I want to download and keep go here. (Mylio is the picture management app I use.)
- LDB – Posts that I want to reference later or have tasks I need to complete for LearnDoBecome go here until completed.
If there is a post I want to follow, the option to “Turn on notifications for this post” is also under the three dot menu on the top right of the post.
Occasionally, I’ll decide I want to stop getting notifications (or get less notifications) from a friend, group or page. It is easy to do this from the Notification Center by pressing the three dots on a notification from that person, group or page.
And the best part? When I’ve finished going through my notifications, I get this Inbox Zero page that tells me it’s time to be done on Facebook:
What are you doing to make sure that your time on social media is deliberate? Do you have any tips or tricks to share? We’d love to hear your ideas in the comments below!
We’ve created a worksheet you can use to help you consolidate your social media apps–just click here or on the image below!
We’d love to have you join our free class! We’ll teach you four simple steps you can apply today to get out of overwhelm and get rid of your piles. Come sign up here!
Michelle Lithgow says
Hi, could you please help me find the “show notes”? I entered LearnDoBecome.com/episode69 , but i don’t seem to be able to find the show notes or the video tutorial about reducing my time on social media.
Is there somewhere else to look?
Thanks in advance for help with this.
Michelle Lithgow says
oh wow, this seems a little ..odd, but as soon as I wrote my comment above, asking how to find the episode 69 show notes, then all of a sudden i was ON the page with the show notes!, but the show notes did not seem to be available when i was listening to the podcast on my lap top.
just mentioning to see if this was a one time glitch, and to try to find out a usual or direct way to find show notes in the future for other podcasts, if that makes sense? Tks.
Taryn Wood says
Thanks for letting us know! We sent you an email to gather some additional information. Thanks for being with us!
Emily Frow says
Thank you so much for this guidance! I turned off most all visual & audio notifications long ago. I check FB a couple times a day, but have found it has creeped back into a time waster. Thanks for the reminder to AVOID SCROLLING & JUST CHECK THE NOTIFICATIONS! And the suggestions to pare the FB notifications down will be so helpful!
My big issue is email as I hate the process of finding what I need to actually read & get distracted reading non time-sensitive email. To tame email, a chart above indicates using streamlined filters. I use the built-in mail app on my iPad (& iPhone sometimes) which doesn’t have the ability to filter (unless it’s in iOS 13 – I haven’t updated yet). I want to avoid Google products like gmail as much as possible due to privacy concerns. Any suggestions?
Emily Frow says
I forgot to say I already make use of the VIP inbox. But it doesn’t allow for any fine tuning. Any email by someone on my VIP list just goes into the one VIP inbox mixed together with all the other VIPs.
Taryn Wood says
Thank you, Emily! We’re glad this has been helpful to you. I, Taryn, also use the built-in mail app on my iPad & iPhone quite often. I view multiple email accounts there. Generally you can set up filters on the computer that can also be seen on your iPhone. Those are accessible by clicking on the email account toward the bottom of the screen rather than the main inbox at the top. This allows you to see each folder within the account rather than just the inbox. We also have tools and super simple steps to help tackle email- and more… check out http://learndobecome.com/inbox-zero to sign up for our emails to zero training! Feel free to send us an email with additional questions, [email protected]. Our team is happy to help!