This is another screencast lesson that will talk about getting control over social media and online reading.
For me, social media is not a huge deal because I do not participate in a lot of it. I purposely am not on Facebook and Instagram and Pinterest. I do have messaging apps like WhatsApp, Slack and email. Those are probably the two biggest ones I use. WhatsApp for family and friends, email mostly for work. I am on Twitter. Social media is one thing, and online reading is something I do a lot.
The first part of a system to deal with social media is to have limits on it. When do you want to let your attention be used up by social media?
- you find amazing things
- you get inspiration
- connect with other people
I’m not saying never do social media. But we can be conscious about how we choose to use it.
For example, Twitter. I am not on Twitter all the time, but I do check Twitter once a day, sometimes less if I am traveling or something. If I am working, I will do Twitter:
- once a day
- in the afternoon
- after I have done all my important work
- in a phase of the day when I focus on clearing through my day
We start by stepping into the river of Twitter and not necessarily respond to or read everything.
- Allow ourselves a step in for 10 minutes.
- Start by scrolling through notifications. If I want to reply, great. But I am just looking at people’s replies on here. They are great replies bit it doesn’t require me to take action.
- Go to the Home Page and scroll through. There may be something interesting I want to read later. I might open some things in different tabs. Basically, I am stepping through it.
- Close it. When I am done, I may have opened up other tabs I want to read or watch. Great.
That is my usage of Twitter. You may have different needs or a different thing that fits your lifestyle better. Maybe you check it 3 times a day. Figure out your system for using social media or whatever media you use that works for you. That also applies to reading blogs and news sites. Figure out when you want to open them up and don’t just be bouncing around on them all day.
Create a sacred space for that social media, for blogs in general, and for news sites. Allow yourself to step into the stream of them without having to see every single thing or without needing to reply to every single thing.
That said, we have now opened up a bunch of things from Twitter and blogs and we need to look at online reading.
For me, that is a whole separate bucket from social media. Social media can open up tabs for online reading so they are related. I now have a whole bunch of tabs open. I have them all open but I don’t have time to read them all now.
I would like to close all the tabs, read them later, and focus on what I need to focus on right now.
- Open up the tabs.
- Save them. Use a bookmarklet and save them to Instapaper or a read-later system.
- Close it. Close all the open tabs after you save them.
I am now cleared. But I have to trust that I am going to get to them. I use Instapaper and can read when I have time. I now have a queue and need to read through it. As I go through it during the day, I might:
- archive ones that I have done
- delete them
- save them in a folder to remember them
- like them so it will be in my liked folder and I can always go back to my favorite ones
Basically I am archiving them. As I read them an d archive them, I am now clearing through this queue. But I might not get to it through the week.
Another part of my system is to go through and read as many as I can to clear it out. If I didn’t get to what I wanted to, I will just archive all of them. I honestly did not find space to get to all of them this week.
Go through, read through them and have one day a week of reading them as much as you can. Clear out and let go of the ones you can’t. That is a very simple system of dealing with online reading that helps to stay undistracted throughout the day, tread what you want to read, and stay clear form week to week.