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Shut it Down & Get to Work

I’ve made a drastic change in my work habits in 2017. One of those changes has been to shut down all social media and get to work. I’ll check in on things in the morning, sometimes around lunch, and usually after work. During the rest of the day I’m dark and it is amazing what a difference it makes to my productivity. I swear I’m doing twice the work in half the time now.

There is no such thing as a quick check of Facebook, Twitter, or whatever social media you prefer. Five minutes turns into forty-five minutes without you even realizing it. Watch. Next time you try to check in quickly, set your timer and see how long it really is before you shut it off. Then imagine all the things you could have completed in those 45 minutes.

In addition to the time you spend actually on social media, the brain time extends well beyond when you shut it off. Forty-five minutes of Facebook, means you spend another 15 or so minutes trying to acclimatize yourself to the job at hand and, maybe longer to clear the headspace that is now being taken up by political rants, funny memes, or disgusting pictures of a broken foot.

I honestly didn’t think I could do it, but I can. I can get on Twitter, make my posts (or schedule many ahead of time), and stay off the rest of the day. I’m getting more done in other areas of my life (not just work) and I find I’m calmer for it.

Category: Blog



  1. Jessica, love your posts. The brain-shift time presents the biggest obstacle for me. Dropping out of a creative mind space requires way too much reorienting of “brain time.” Short social media breaks cripple. Before I know it I’m taking on just a few quick calls, maybe stop by Amazon. As you mentioned, a quick check-in, not happening. Today, I hit a thought-intensive section in my manuscript and thought a break would help. I should’ve grabbed another cup of joe and switched to paper instead of a screen. But—I checked my email and saw your post. Good to hear another person’s routine. Inspiring and reaffirms my own. My preferred routine starts with writing or editing and coffee. Nothing else until lunch. Oh, no. It’s almost lunchtime.

  2. This is what I’m trying to do – but I need a better routine to be able to find a regular window to “social media”. So at the moment my use is rather ad hoc. Working on it!

  3. In addition to only checking at certain times, I use one of the those browser blockers to block me after a certain number of minutes. I give myself enough time to check in, respond, schedule, etc, but then it’s blocked until tomorrow. This especially helps me not browse when I should be sleeping.

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