How To Not Waste Time On Facebook – Apps to Increase Productivity

By Leslie Samuel | Social Media

Jun 01

Do you find yourself constantly getting sucked into Facebook?

Do you log in to quickly check on a specific post only to find yourself looking at forty slides of celebs with ugly spouses, an hour later?

Do you have a Facebook problem and find yourself in the need of intervention from time to time?

If so, this is the post for you (and maybe me too) 😉

The Facebook Time-Suck

I love Facebook. To be honest, it’s one of my favorite sites on the internet. I thrive when I’m connected to other people and Facebook really helps me connect with friends and family all over the world.

06_01-Facebook-ProductivityMost of my family still lives on the beautiful, Caribbean Island of St. Maarten and it’s great that they have been able to see my son grow up even though we’re separated by thousands of miles.

Also, I’m a blogger, and since what I do revolves around the internet, social media is a big part of what I do, Facebook really does give me a place to connect with my readers, and other entrepreneurs who do what I do.

However, I do find myself browsing my news feed every so often and losing track of time.

Since I know that Facebook can be a problem for me, I found myself searching for apps and extensions to help me with productivity. Here are a few resources that have actually helped.

Kill News feed

Kill News Feed is the most useful extension I’ve found to prevent wasted time on Facebook. The number one time-sucking feature on Facebook (for me) is the News Feed.

You log on and all of a sudden there are tons of posts scrolling in front of your face. Some of them are completely pointless and obvious time-wasters. However, if you’re anything like me, it can be difficult to not click play on that cute cat video.

The Kill News Feed extension does exactly what its name suggests; it basically disables your news feed and puts the following note whenever you log in.

Kill_News_Feed

As a blogger with an active Facebook Page, I will occasionally log in to post something, or even share something on my personal profile.

When I do that, I don’t want to be distracted. Thanks to this app, I waste significantly less time on Facebook. It’s a beautiful thing.

Facebook Unseen

One of the features of Facebook I really dislike is the ability to send and receive Private Messages.

While this does come in handy from time to time, I find it annoying because I have too many inboxes. I have my business email, personal email, Twitter direct messages and Facebook messages.

I would much rather have one place to check all my messages.

However, since Facebook doesn’t let you disable private messages, I’ve opted for Facebook Unseen; it puts me in control of when I respond to messages.

Here’s how it works:

When someone sends you a private message on Facebook and you check it, it shows the sender that you have read their message.

Once they see that, they generally expect a response within a relatively short period of time.

I used to find myself checking messages sent to me relatively quickly because I didn’t want to miss out on a potentially important message, only to find that it was just someone asking a random question.

However, because that person saw that I’d read the message, I felt guilty not responding immediately.

Facebook Unseen allows me to open messages without the sender knowing. Now I can  respond without the pressure of having to respond instantly.

Facebook-Unseen

This might seem silly, but it makes me feel much better. I know I can check and respond to messages at my discretion and convenience.

SelfControl App

SelfControl goes way beyond Facebook. It lets you set a timer that blocks access to any websites you add to your blacklist for a specified period of time.

Let’s say you work from 8am to 12pm every weekday and want to remain super focused during that time.

All you do is add Facebook (and any other distracting site) to your blacklist and once you start the timer, there’s absolutely nothing you can do to access those sites. Instead, you get the following message.

Blocked_Site

Even if you restart your computer, you aren’t able to access the site. You just have to wait for the time to pass and then you can access it again.

This app works only on mac, but an alternative for PC is Focus Me.

Rescue Time

Rescue Time is useful for gaining an accurate view of where you’re spending your time. Once installed, it runs in the background and then provides a report of where you are actually spending your time, as seen below:

RescueTime

When I first installed RescueTime, I remembered thinking to myself – “Impossible, I don’t spend THAT much time on Facebook.” Unfortunately, the numbers weren’t lying.

According to Robin S. Sharma, “What gets measured, gets improved”. After seeing how much time I was wasting, I started being more intentional about how I spend my time, and the numbers started looking better.

What About You?

Be honest – do you have the same problem I had? How do you deal with it? Are there apps or extensions that you use? Let me know in the comments area below.

Infographic

  • Nanette says:

    Thank you! I am always looking for tools to help me stay focused. You are awesome!

  • Elvetha says:

    I manage my time on FB. I simple read posts that are encouraging and uplifting. I decide that I will not read anything that is not contributing to my growth. I use FB to keep in touch with my family and friends who live in the Caribbean and far away from me.

  • Hello LESLIE,
    Yes, it sucks time out of my schedule. Very informative article. I enjoy reading all you blogging tips since I’m relatively new at this blogging thing. I’m always looking for ways to improve and your help is appreciated. Richard

  • Thanks for this excellent post. I’ve just installed RescueTime and Facebook Unseen 🙂 I use another alternative to Kill Newsfeeds. It’s called News feed Eradicator and it’ll show an inspiration quote whenever you open Facebook instead of the newsfeed (http://news-feed-eradicator.west.io/)

  • michelle says:

    Good tips! One that I Love LoveLove is IFTTT. On certain posts on my biz page if i include a certain hashtag, it will automatically post on my profile, where i get most engagement… a great tool i just love!

  • Katyan Roach says:

    Hi Leslie,
    Great tips as usual!

    Awhile back on your prompting I did install Kill News feed and promptly uninstalled it. ( I wasn’t ready Leslie, I wasn’t ready..lol) but now I really need help to stop the distractions, so your reminder could not have come at a better time.

    Wish me luck.

  • Linda Cannon says:

    Leslie,
    I too got sucked into that feed on ugly celebrity spouses. LOL. And it did suck quite a lot of time because you had to load the page to get to the next ugly spouse.

    Nowadays I stay away from stories that require loading a page for the next tidbit. Who came up with that format?

    Thanks for all you do,

    that Lady down in Texas
    ‘Don’t text 4 X’

  • Leslie, another excellent post, with valuable advice and tools provided. Thanks! As I read it, I was thinking, “Does Leslie watch me when I’m at my computer? He’s talking about me!:

  • Nate says:

    You nailed this one! Superb resources and thanks. I will use them once I return from 2.5 months in Greece. Need to focus on the mobile sphere to close out 2015. Thanks a ton, Leslie. Always a good read with executable steps.

  • John says:

    Yes Leslie you are so right. I too much spend time news feed. My friends doing amazing things 🙂 Why we must see everything on facebook. It is just communication with friends for me.

  • Sarah says:

    I find myself spending less and less time on Facebook. I feel like Facebook will soon be of the past, but for now I’ll try one of these apps to curb my bad habit! Thanks for the article!

  • Will Bauer says:

    Thanks for mentioning FocusMe. We have now an app for Mac as well and improved the Windows version a lot adding functions to schedule breaks and protect blocking schedules for days, weeks or even months. Best regards Will

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