Relax, says Charles Duhigg, author of The Power of Habit. You can’t beat your Facebook addiction into submission — so schedule it into your work day.

 

Charles Duhigg: In all the studies of procrastination, what they’ve basically said are two things:  number one, you can’t find some work reward that’s going to take the place of procrastination.  Right?  If the reward for procrastination is that you get to spend five minutes distracted by Facebook, you have to allow yourself to do that. That has to be part of your work day.  If you need five minutes every hour to look at tweets or to just surf the internet, you need to schedule that into your schedule, allow yourself to do that.  Because when people start procrastinating, what they’ve done is, they’ve tried to ignore that urge.  They try to deny themselves time on Facebook or time surfing the web.  And then all of a sudden, it erupts and they go and they say, I’m just going to check for five minutes, and 45 minutes later, they’ve lost, you know, all of this time.  It’s because they haven’t accommodated that need.  
 Again, once the habit exists, you can’t just quelch it.  You can’t pretend it’s not there.  You have to sort of accommodate this need in your life.  And so the answer is, to give yourself five minutes every hour.  In fact, you can set an alarm at the end of every hour give yourself five minutes to surf the web.  Because if you allow yourself five minutes every hour, it won’t explode into 45 minutes because you’ve been trying to suppress it.  But the other thing we also know, and this is very interesting, and this is something I actually found when writing the book.  The more you focus, the more that focus becomes a habit.  So, willpower is like a muscle, right?  It’s this muscle that you can build up, and it gets tired, but the more you exercise it, the stronger it gets.  The same is true of our ability to focus.  The more you practice focusing, the easier focusing becomes.  And so the other answer for procrastination is, don’t beat up on yourself.  Let yourself practice going longer and longer and longer without taking a five-minute break to check Facebook because after three or four weeks, after three or four months you’ll be able to sustain focus much longer, but the key is, you can’t change everything overnight.  You can’t suddenly say, I want a brand new habit tomorrow and expect it to be east and effortless.  It’s something you have to give yourself permission to take a little bit of time to practices because you’re building up neuro pathways associated with certain behavior and those neuro pathways just build up over time.  You can’t speed up that process any more than is natural.   

Directed & Produced by
Jonathan Fowler and Elizabeth Rodd

51 COMMENTS

  1. face3book is a tool. its a pointless website thats not important in your life. i always remind myself to not keep looking at the notifications.

  2. "The more you practise focus the easier it becomes! accommodate your habits – make time for them in your shedule so they don't end up taking your whole day"

  3. I hate Facebook but I can't quit obsessively checking in frequently. It's interfering with my life, my work, and my relationships. It's always the same old boring nonsense–baby photos, political rants, pseudoscience, and inspirational junk that makes me want to puke. One of my friends takes about 30 photos and videos of her dog and kid every day and posts them. During the past couple of days, I've seen about 10 videos of her dogs and three-year-old in a kiddie pool. So damn boring, yet she gets a ton of likes!

  4. I hate facebook forced you to tell what you're doing every minute!
    Facebook forced you to tell about your life!
    And if don't have a life what!

  5. this is daily viewing, but the argument only applies to a certain group of people, but if this advice applies to you, then keep following it. 

  6. I disagree. I stopped from heavy smoking to no smoking at all after a decision in shower. I created new healthy habit by just by deciding to do it. It wasn't easy, but it was very possible. More decisions came like that. I even started calling it "to smack my self". It's a matter of willpower.

  7. If you really want to unplug from Facebook, the best thing you can do is permanently delete your account (as opposed to deactivating it).

  8. I think I'm fortunate in the fact that I just held no interest in Facebook, but more interest in simply maintaining the real relationships I had, in person. That said, having deleted my account, I've been powerfully attached to YouTube for several years.
    Damn.

  9. I came here, and i dont have a Facebook account, or anything like Instagram, MySpace or Twitter…. 
    I think now im procrastinating with this videos so ill move on to what i was originally doing 😛

  10. people just dont have any will power anymore.. if you want to stop something overnight  you can, it's as simple as just not doing it again..like facebook, just deactivate it.. you'll soon realize it's not all that essential. 

  11. ok so 5 minutes every hour rather than a 45 minute long session.. problem being most work days are around 8-9 hours, so you'll still be spending just as long however this way you are being a lazy c**t and fully knowing.. even sheduling it in.. oh shit, it's 2pm, time to check facebook.. DO SOME F**KING WORK!

  12. It's very important for human beings to feel they are popular and well liked amongst a large group of people that we don't care for.

  13. okay lets start. if i ever log in, ill reply to you and if you do, reply to to me. start from tonight. every 2 or 3 weeks, we will say hi to eachother juts to motivate ourself. fb is taken my time.

  14. I actually disagree with this. 5 minutes every hour will not satisfy your need to stay on Facebook. You should check it and then discipline yourself to not check until you genuinely feel satisfied with the progress or accomplishment you have made in another (productive) task.

  15. Yeah, that's right! One of the mistakes I often make is that I want to change everything overnight and want a brand new habit the day after.

  16. A job that doesn't involve having your own computer then. I don't know how many people I see wasting their time on facebook book at college and work.

  17. How Not to Spend Your Whole Day on Facebook ? Deactivate your account………Its not rocket science or takes over a two and a half min video to explain……..

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