How to curb your social media addiction

Ahh, social media. 

So necessary for your business visibility. 

So terrible for your business productivity. 

Since I launched my business in 2016, most of my clients have found me on one social media platform or another, or have been referred to me by people who met me online.

Over the years I have developed some amazing mutually beneficial collaborations, purchased valuable courses or programs that moved my business forward, and have made some dear friends I’ve never met in person — all from various social media outlets.

But there’s a downside to social media. You see, these platforms — by design or not — are addictive. 

Even from a business perspective, you can become consumed by thoughts of what to post, when to post, how to post.

You can become obsessed with metrics: views, likes, comments, shares… constantly checking to see who’s noticing your stuff.

And then of course, there’s the procrasti-scroll, where you go to socials to procrastinate on that hard or boring work task.. or worse, go to “engage for 15 minutes after posting” like the pros tell you to, but find yourself an hour later taking a quiz on what plant personality you are.

No shame, no judgment. I think every social media user has been there at one point.

When I first started out using social media, I thought I could control it. 

I’m a responsible grown up, after all.

But when I realized I couldn’t actually control it, I did the responsible grown-up thing: set boundaries.

Here are my social media rules:

No social media on smartphones

I only use social media on desktop. Full stop. I actually hired an Instagram manager to take care of all the things you can only do on mobile, because I am determined not to use the app.

If I had it easily accessible I’d be checking constantly to see how my latest post is performing or if anyone tagged me on a post I could jump in on and demonstrate my expertise.

And I’m not willing to give up the mental freedom I have when I’m not working. 

Keeping social media off my mobile devices allows me to

  • be fully present with family 
  • mindfully ride a bus
  • read a book and get fully into it
  • eat a meal with true enjoyment and focus
  • be intentional about my social media use

Use tech to limit my time on social media

So once we’re talking about desktop only, my social media usage already got a whole lot easier to manage.

Because time spent on social media is a business investment, we want to make sure we’re getting the best ROI (return on investment). 

When you have external tools limiting your time on a platform, it forces you to stay focused on your goals rather than wasting time scrolling aimlessly.

So here’s what I use:

News Feed Eradicator

This is a Chrome extension that does exactly what it says it does: eradicates my news feed. 

It’s very simple to use. Install it from the Chrome store, and follow the prompts to set it up!

It works on 8 different platforms, including Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram, and you can choose which ones you want to eradicate.

You can also choose to show the feed for a set length of time, which I use for LinkedIn, since most of the action happens in the feed.

What’s nice about News Feed Eradicator is that it shows a motivational quote when you log onto the eradicated feed, and you can even set your own custom quotes!

screenshot of facebook home page showing blank section where the feed should be and Spanish proverb "Tomorrow is often the busiest day of the week."


This is another indispensable Chrome extension that has saved me hours and hours of my life.

Exactly like it sounds, it helps you Stay Focused.

It’s simple. You set a list of blocked sites, a total length of time each day to browse the blocked sites list, and active days/hours.

And then it operates in the background and starts tracking when you access a blocked site. When your time is up, that’s it — you can’t access that site for the rest of the day.

Nothing like StayFocusd for keeping me focused!

(And if you ever wonder why I respond to your post, then don’t reply to your comment until the next day, this is why!)

I have all distracting sites blocked, not just social media. When you first set up the extension, they give you a suggested list of most distracting sites to add with one click. And if there are sites you personally find distracting, you can quickly add them to the list using the extension.

screenshot showing Stayfocusd extension option to block a site

When you try to access a blocked site once your allowed time is up, you get a to-the-point message that you should be working, plus ads showing paid tools you can use on other devices/browsers.

I’ve never tried the products promoted, but if you don’t use Chrome or you want to keep your social media apps on your phone with some boundaries, give Freedom or Opal a try using stayfocusd’s code STAYFOCUSED30. 

screenshot of stayfocusd block page that says "you should be working"


The aptly named RescueTime has been another lifesaver.

It has a free plan that tracks everything you do on your computer, and shows you exactly how you’re using your time online. 

You can also upgrade to the paid plan for features like setting work hours, automatic focus time sessions, and more. 

This is where it helps with my social media usage; whenever I want to focus on something without that urge to procrasti-scroll, I set a focus time session and work distraction-free. 

Here’s the focus time session I set for writing this blog post:

screenshot showing rescuetime feature that lets you set a focus session

And if I tried to access facebook in an effort to procrastinate on this post, I’d get this cute tail-wagging corgi:

screenshot of rescuetime block screen that says "you're focusing on meaningful work!" with an illustration of a yellow corgy

RescueTime has a similar feature to StayFocusd, where I can set a Focus Time session to trigger when I’ve spent an accumulative amount of time on distracting sites, or when my total computer time for the day exceeds a set number of hours. 

I use both those triggers, and I’ve also experimented with setting Focus Times to trigger from certain Google calendar events.

So to sum up, I have 3 tools working together to enforce my social media boundaries:

Newsfeed eradicator means I’m very intentional when I go on social media: I’m going to specific groups or topics; not just scrolling my feed hoping something relevant comes up. (Plus, I never see FB ads, so it’s good for my pocket too 😉

StayFocusd makes sure I’m using my social media time very purposefully, because I know I need to make every minute count.

And RescueTime lets me focus deeply on work and not compulsively switch to social media when something feels too hard or too boring. 

And of course, all this works because I don’t have social media on any other device that I can sneak a peek at when I’m not supposed to.

(RescueTime is an affiliate link, which means I’ll get a small commission should you buy the upgrade.)

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