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19. Are Social Media Breaks Productive?

Many say social media is a time-waster. For me, it’s an important and enjoyable part of my job - connecting with practitioners, getting a handle on the latest trends, and finding new partnerships.

I agree that social media can be a time-suck, but only if you’re using it at the wrong time. Social media is a form of quick engagement. It doesn’t take long to read 140 characters and then like or share.

Social media is problematic when we use it during time frames that are supposed to be for deep thinking activities. Taking a social media break in the middle of putting together a detailed report, figuring out a coding mistake, or writing a novel, is not a good idea.

Breaks are only beneficial when they are as different from the original task behavior as possible. Continuing to look at a screen doesn’t have the same recovery effect.

So when should we look at social media? When we only have 2 or 3 minutes.

Waiting on someone to join a zoom? Go for it. Going to the bathroom? Why not. Walking up a flight of stairs? Perfect.

We spend a great deal of time in transitions from one activity to another. Although they might only be a few minutes, over the course of a day they add up to a significant amount of time. Try making this your social media screen time. Reserve the deep thinking time for deep thinking tasks.


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