Categories
Addiction Health Social Media

Social Media Addiction: Understanding The Problem

Social media is designed to be addictive. Many of us are hooked on it. In this post I will write about social media addiction. Companies purposefully design these apps to be addictive. How can we combat this time consuming addiction?

Social Media

Social media companies have long understood the power of trying to keep you hooked on their apps. Facebook, for example, knows that the longer you spend on their app, the more advertisements you will see. Companies like TikTok use algorithms to get you to spend more time on their app. One way companies do this is by using what is called A/B testing. Let’s understand how this works.

A/B Testing

In order to keep you using a social app or website longer, companies will engage in what is known as A/B testing. This is where one subset (group A) of users of the web site is shown a particular version of the site, while another set (group B) is shown a different version of the site. Using data analytics, companies can decipher which version of the website users have spent the most time on. Then they will modify the website to the version that users spent more time on. Companies do this to maximize the time individuals will spend on the website. This is done to increase profits for the business which is running the platform.

Addictive Algorithms

Once we understand how there are powerful algorithms set up within the apps and websites that we use in order to keep us using them, we can begin to untangle from this addictive matrix. Knowledge is power. Knowing is half of the battle. Once we know how we are being subtly manipulated into using these social apps, we can begin to resist them. Companies with billions of dollars invested in them to keep us using these apps are obviously going to hire the best minds in order to make these platforms increasingly more addictive. Do not forget about the simple pleasures and joys that people used to have before social media addiction.

Positives of Social Media

Social media does have positive aspects to it, especially in situations like COVID-19 lock downs. It can be a great way to communicate with relatives who are far away. Online social platforms can be great for launching businesses as well. It is just important to resist the negative aspects so they do not outweigh the positive ones. Take time away from social media and try to spend it with real people. It is a lot more natural than staring at a screen all day.

Conclusion

Combating social media addiction is something that many of us need to work on. Especially if you are working as a content creator. It is hard to create content consistently if you are constantly consuming it.

If you need in depth help battling social media addiction, I would recommend checking out this book written by the addiction experts at Allen Carr. The book is called “Smart Phone, Dumb Phone – Free Yourself From Digital Addiction.”

You can purchase a copy of the book here. It explains more in depth how these companies aim to get us hooked on our devices and ways that we can aim to break free. I highly recommend it.

Thank you for taking the time to read this blog and have a great day.

©2020 Richard Gillespie

Categories
Ideas Motivation Psychology

Daily Routine: Building Good Habits

Building up a good daily routine is very important. Have you ever noticed how when you do something one day, you tend to repeat it the next day? It is easy to get into the habit of doing something. Our daily routine may contain good and bad habits. The key is to building a routine with many positive habitual actions while trying to reduce negative activities.

Daily Routine

If you start building good habits each day, it becomes easier to repeat those actions over time. Someone who has the habit of waking up daily and exercising will find it easier to do so than someone who does not have that routine. Why not start building good habits into your daily routine? It can improve your life, make you healthier, and more successful in your career. In a previous article I have written about the power of consistently taking action towards achieving your goals. You can not have consistency without building a positive daily habitual routine.

Make a list

Try making a list of all your bad habits and try to replace them with good activities. Perhaps your room is a mess and you never make your bed. Try getting into the habit of making your bed each morning. It will make your room tidier and it’s a good productive activity to start the day. Are you sometimes in a hurry and you skip breakfast? That can become a negative habit as well. Force yourself to eat a solid breakfast each morning, and it will soon become an ingrained habit. There are many unhealthy activities in our daily routine that we can work to change each day. Think about what habits you want to modify and go from there.

Conclusion

If you want to improve your life, you need to build good habits. A daily routine containing positive actions will lead to a more productive and fulfilled life. Take time to critically assess yourself and your behaviors. Which actions in your life are unnecessarily dragging you down and harming your health? Work to improve your habits and you can improve your life.

Thank you for taking the time to read this blog. Have a great day.

©2020 Richard Gillespie

Categories
Business Productivity Time Management

How To Be More Productive: Be Conscious of Time

In today’s blog post, I will write about how to be more productive by being conscious of time. It is important to achieve a certain level of productivity in today’s society. If you are a small independent business owner, for example, you may be competing with highly organized corporations. If you are not focused on productivity, how do you expect to compete with these highly developed, fine-tuned, profitable businesses? You will need to develop a method for being productive in order to remain competitive.

How to be more productive

In order to be more productive you will need to set time constraints on certain activities in your life. In a previous article, I have written about setting time limits on your creativity. You need to establish time constraints for yourself when you are trying to be productive. Without time limits you can spend too much time on certain tasks which are not adding to your overall productivity.

Let’s take the example of a blogger. In yesterday’s article, I wrote about why, as a blogger, you should write one new blog post each day. I would recommend setting a time limit on creating that daily blog of no more than an hour. Does that seems like a short amount of time to write an article? Let me tell you about my experience.

Some days, I can produce my daily blog in about half an hour to one hour. Other days, it can take me 4 hours to produce a post due to procrastination and time wasting. As you may know, I try to participate as a content creator in a wide variety of online media platforms. If I were to spend 4 hours every day on a single blog post, I would have a lot less time for these other platforms.

Only 24 hours in a day

You have heard the old saying, “time is money”. If I were to spend 4 hours each day working just on one blog post, I could have potentially earned $80 in that time at a $20 per hour job. In economics, they talk about opportunity cost. Opportunity cost is what you have to give up to get something. For example, let’s say I decide to quit a $30,000 per year job and go back to school. My opportunity cost is all the things I am giving up to go back to school, including the $30,000 I could have earned working the job.

Imagine you are a content creator. If you spend 4 hours in a day working on a blog, instead of half an hour, you’re missing out on all the other things you could have done in that additional 3.5 hour time period. You could have been producing a YouTube video as well. Or, you could have taken photos for Instagram, or made a video for TikTok. Additionally, you could have also streamed on Twitch for several hours as well. Spending 4 hours a day on a blog post might be fine if you are being paid by a large media corporation and that’s all you have to do in a day. Most independent bloggers and content creators will have multiple other things they need to do in a day rather than just their blog. It is not easy to make a living on blogging alone, so do not put all your eggs in one basket.

Conclusion

In order to be more productive you need to give yourself time constraints. You cannot spend all day completing one task. There are many tasks that need to be done in a day when you are running a business. If you spend 4 hours on something that could have been done in an hour, you are harming productivity. Try to put time constraints on activities and stick to those time schedules.

Sometimes in workplaces, you are given a training session to complete. Generally, workplaces do not give you the entire day to do the training at your leisure. Corporations put time constraints on employees in order to keep them productive. Perhaps, self-employed individuals need to adopt a similar mentality to boost their productivity as well. Taking multiple hours to complete a task that could have taken one only harms ourselves as small business proprietors.

Thank you for taking the time to read this blog today. It was created in about 45 minutes. I am trying to follow my own advice on productivity and I hope you will try this method as well. Have a great day.

©2020 Richard Gillespie

Categories
Ideas Productivity Time Management

Waking Up Early: The Benefits Of An Early Start

In this article I will write about some of the benefits to waking up early in the day. There are many reasons why waking up quite early in the morning is a good thing for you to do. Let’s now go over why waking up early in the day is a good idea for you.

Waking up early

One benefit to waking up early in the day has to do with health. There are benefits to awakening and sleeping at the same times as the sun rises and sets. In modern times, with the invention of electricity and artificial lights, we hear of many people suffering from insomnia. Scientists know that artificial light keeps us awake at night. Try to sleep with your window blind’s open at night. This can help to eliminate insomnia. Imagine being woken up at 6:00 AM in the morning by the sun. Next, imagine how you would feel at 11 PM that night. It would be hard to stay awake past 11:00 PM if you had not had a nap. Waking up early can really help with insomnia and irregular sleeping patterns.

Quiet time of the day

Another reason for waking up early in the morning is that there are far less distractions than later in the day. Once other people have woken up, there are more phone calls, emails, and other kinds of interruptions which can arise during the day and disrupt your workflow. By waking up early in the day, you are ensuring yourself a small window of time to work on your projects, before the rest of the world wakes up and requires your attention for various reasons. You are also mentally alert and ready to handle your most important challenges of the day in the morning due to having a full night’s rest. I have written previously about the power of accomplishing your most important tasks first thing in the morning.

First thing in the morning is the best time to work on tasks.

The early bird

Waking up early provides you with an advantage in life. Before other people have woken up, you have already made strong progress towards achieving your goals. When it’s time to go to bed, with this method, you’ll fall asleep quickly and easily. Other people often stay up late, watching T.V., or interacting with their smartphones, and end up having a sub par sleep because of it. Sleep is very important. I’ll leave a link to a great book on sleep for you to check out here. It explains how sleep is of the utmost importance for our health and wellness.

Conclusion

Try waking up early each day. By waking up early, you can start to eliminate your insomnia. You will feel less depressed spending more time in the sun each day. Awakening and falling asleep with the sun is a more natural way to spend life. Avoid your smartphone or computer at night and get to bed early. Waking up early is one of the best ways to improve your health and productivity.

Thank you for taking the time to read this blog. Have a great day.

©2020 Richard Gillespie

Categories
How To Life Time Management

The Power of Planning Your Day

In this article I am going to write about a new time management strategy I am implementing starting today. The idea is that I am going to specifically plan out my day the night before so I have an exact agenda of what I want to accomplish that day. This way, less time is wasted wondering what I should be working on. You may already implement a strategy such as this. This article is for people who are interested in the benefits of such an approach.

The basic idea is to write out or enter into your smartphone exactly what you want to be doing tomorrow. For example, from 9:30 – 10:00 AM I will work on a blog post. From 10:00 – 11:00 I will work on a song. From 11:00 – 12:00 I will work on a YouTube video. Next, I will take a break for lunch, from 12:00-1:00 PM. After that, from 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM, I will work on photography. You get the idea.

This way you always know ahead of time exactly what it is you’re supposed to be working on at that time. This is a technique for people who are busy but still have the ambition to do a large amount of activities.

Why plan out your day?

The reason I have started implementing this method is because it feels that I am wasting too much time doing things which are not productive. Instead of writing a blog post, I will be scrolling aimlessly through Twitter. Instead of working on music, sometimes I will get stuck just watching the news for hours. It’s good to ration some time for news consumption and social media, but when it takes over too much of your time it can be counterproductive.

Another lesson to be learned here is that if you find yourself doing too much of the same thing for too long, you’re probably doing something wrong. What I mean by that is, if you’re sitting and playing video games until from dusk until dawn, that’s not healthy. Try doing some other activities. A better day might have one hour of video games, one hour of exercise, one hour of reading, one hour of writing, one hour of doing housework, etc.

Why do so much in a day?

It’s a good idea to do a lot of different things in a day. It prevents you from being bored and it also increases your chances of success. Imagine if you spent years working on a book but never told anyone about it. You could have a masterpiece but it might be lost. I used to be very anti social media. Recently, I realized that you kind of need to engage on social media. Most other musicians and artists are doing so and if you do not do it then you may be left behind or forgotten about. However, do not spend so much time on social media that you neglect your art.

My main point is this. Do not do just one kind of activity in a day and think that’s all you have to do. Try to do many different things. If you are a musician, do a Podcast. If you are an artist, start a YouTube channel. Nowadays we need to try different things to get our message across. Don’t be forgotten about. Spend your time wisely.

Thank you for reading and I hope you have a great day.

©2020 – Richard Gillespie