Get more productive by breaking the habits

There was a bad time

After completing a task I found myself using Facebook. I was keep scrolling it and I wasted another hour.

Closed the tab. But I was into it again. That was opened again unintentionally. I just had to write ‘f’ in a new tab and the world biggest social media website was on my screen with the latest feeds.

After just ending the call with one client I found that I am again scrolling and seeing the latest check-ins of my friends.

I was reading ‘the fake news’ (not the Trump’s terminology) on social media and wasting my hours every day.

After replying to the email that I got this morning, I was again scrolling the home feed.

What was it?

Facebook became the worst addiction of my life and I knew that it was killing my productivity by wasting my time. I wanted to get out of it but I didn’t want to delete the facebook account because I was connected to a lot of old friends who are living miles away from me. I tried logging out in Safari browser, but with the saved password I could easily login again.

I started breaking the things

I thought that I should spend very less time on facebook, so I opened a list of around 800 pages that I was following on Facebook. I unfollowed/unliked more than 780 pages. Just few left which were related to my products and their competitors. I followed some of them on twitter so I don’t get to disconnect. After few days, Facebook started sending me more suggestions in my homefeed and started showing more content.

Breaking things again

I found that the things I am doing to avoid Facebook are not working. So I started analyzing my behavior. After few days I found these things:

  • I am mostly using Facebook in my default browser of my computer (which is Safari).
  • I average spend 10 minutes a day on Facebook app in my iPhone (which looks OK)
  • My secondary browser is Chrome and I mostly keep it closed and open it only when I really need it
  • I didn’t want to delete my password from Safari because I use it for facebook login on other websites.

Based on these behaviors I changed my plan and did following:

  1. I deleted the app from my iPhone
  2. I signed out from Facebook and removed the password from Safari. (This was very tough for me because I have to type password each time when I need to login to other website with my Facebook account. And logout immediately once I am done)
  3. I signed in to Facebook in Chrome.

What happens now?

Well I am good now. When I open a new tab and type ‘f’, it takes me to Facebook login page. Good thing is that I don’t remember my Facebook password (it’s written somewhere) so I just close the tab and get back to the things that I am supposed to do. Because finding and typing the password takes time. And some time after writing just ‘f’, Safari suggests Fabric which is an analytics tool we use for our apps. I think I am saving couple of hours daily now because I have started reading Medium and books. I have also started writing and I will write more about productivity, design and product management.

Why I am telling you this?

Its not just me who spend lot of time on Facebook or other addictive things. But everyone has their own behavior that helps them on this. So what you need to do is to observe your behavior and try to kill it with some simple hacks.

You may have to do couple of experiments but at the end you will find what suits you and what actually works for you.

Unfortunately we have forgotten that our time is the most expensive thing we have. Its more valuable than money.

So let’s see where we are wasting our time and how we can convert that time to something meaningful?

What is your addiction that you want to overcome? Write below with a belief that you can break it like I did.