You don’t need to delete your Instagram or Facebook

Here’s how you can focus, in a world of shiny distractions

“Technology is often seen as a part of the problem when it can be the solution”.

-    Jo Aggarwal, Founder, Wysa

Often, when I’m overwhelmed by the tasks at hand, or I hit a roadblock, I navigate away from the present moment and find myself at the depths of my Instagram feed, having scrolled all the way down. This has sometimes got in the way of a deadline. Even worse, I’ve surfaced a good half an hour later, wondering what I was doing in the first place.

But there’s a way to make that compulsive scrolling habit work for you.

Curate your daily content intake.

If you’re a reader (or a writer) like me, and you care about mental wellness, then here are a couple of Instagram handles I would recommend: School of life, Artidote, Texts from your Existentialist, Recipes for Self Love. Why am I telling you this? Because we are going to look at our phones often. Making that a space curated from sources that motivate and inform may actually help you come up with ideas and boost productivity. (Plus, it’s way better than seeing your arch nemesis in school sharing photos of their latest accomplishments!)

Follow the Pomodoro technique.  

Scrolling or streaming is bad for you only when you are compulsively doing so – when you are in the middle of doing something, like a task or a conversation and find yourself mindlessly reaching out to your phone. If you are aware of your usage, then you’re still in control (and technology has not won yet!) Try the Pomodoro technique. – concentrate on your task for 25 minutes at a stretch and allow yourself a 5 minute Social Media break.

Unsubscribe to the all or nothing approach. 

Falling down the rabbit hole of social media and its flashy entrapments can lead to the adverse reaction- when we come up for air, and realise it’s hold on us, we tend to react by completely deleting it. Similar to the binge eating and crash dieting cycle we talked about last week, an all-or-nothing approach isn’t long term. This is good to know, especially for parents who feel their children are turning into tech addicts. Social Media or tech isn’t the problem. We just need to define our relationship with it and stay in control.

Mindfulness. 

Being in the present moment is something that can be achieved by practising mindfulness. This enables us to be aware, and pay attention to conversation, our food, to the environment around us, and all that we experience. This awareness permeates into our tech use as well, enabling us to recognize the potential we use it in a focused, benefit-led way.

As it the case with everything, moderation is key.

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