My phone dings with a new notification. I pick it up to see a text from my husband. I respond to the text and the next thing I know I am mindlessly scrolling through Facebook. I would like to say this is a rare occurrence but whether it’s on my phone or my laptop, I am often scrolling through some form of social media just because it’s easy to do. I have no specific purpose other than to maybe catch a story or update from another blogger I follow or a friend.
Sure, I love seeing inspirational posts and funny stories just as much as the next person. However, I have been trying to rethink how I use social media. I don’t want it to just be a mindless waste of my time. I have no intention of quitting social media because I do think it does hold some value and way of connection I would otherwise not have access to. The issue for me is that it’s one of the first things I gravitate to when I have a few spare minutes. I also often find myself checking it too often instead of using my time working on things I need to actually get done.
I have found that I am most likely to mindlessly scroll social media when I am bored, tired or trying to procrastinate. In an effort to use my time more wisely, I came up with a list of things to do other than checking Facebook…again. Maybe for you it’s not Facebook but some other app on your phone or website you spend too much time on. Whatever it is, I’m sure most of us have something we gravitate to that wastes too much of our time.
35 Things to do Instead of Wasting Time on Social Media
Some of the ideas below may be more specific to me but I hope you get some inspiration for how to more wisely use the time you would otherwise be wasting on social media.
Put away clean dishes: Since moving, I’ve had to start washing all my dishes by hand. I’ll be the first to admit I am not a huge fan of washing dishes but I am starting to get more used to it. It seems there are always clean dishes on the counter to be put away so this would be a quick task to do.
Start a new load of laundry: I don’t love laundry either but it’s so much easier now that it’s actually in my own space! I’m trying to make it more of a habit to stay on top of laundry so this is another quick task I can do.
Fold laundry: Now that I am trying to get more laundry done, it’s likely there is some to be folded. It doesn’t take terribly long to fold one load and I like that I can now do it right by the dryer since we have lots of table space right next to the washer and dryer.
Go for a walk: I never felt comfortable going out for walks in our old place but now we live in a neighborhood so I need to force myself to get out and walk more often.
Read a book: I’ve often wondered how many more books I could get through if I spent more time reading instead of scrolling through Facebook. I’m sure it would be a lot! So I am working on making reading a more consistent habit, especially right before bed when I have a tendency to be on Facebook just because I’m bored and don’t have time to actually get much else done. I also want to read more during my morning and afternoon meal times which are also prime times for mindless scrolling.
Write a blog post: What I am doing right now!
Research an interesting topic: I love to research things so why not use the time I would be otherwise wasting to learn something new.
Watch an episode of Fixer Upper: I don’t watch a lot of TV but this is one show I love! I like putting an episode on during my lunch time and I feel like it’s a better use of my time instead of mindless scrolling while I eat. I only watch one episode at a time which is easy with Netflix or the Watch HGTV app. I know TV can be a huge time suck for some people so I am not suggesting sitting around watching TV all the time but it can be a nice way to take a break for a little bit. As a creative person, watching something like this also serves as a way to give me inspiration.
Play a game with someone: Ever notice you and your spouse both sitting on the couch staring at your phones? How about making time to put down the phones and do something together? Some of my favorite games are Scrabble, Skip-Bo. We also like to play Wii games together – our favorites are Mario Cart and the Lego games like Lord of the Rings.
Write a brain dump list: Got lots on your mind? Write it all out in one big list or mind map. It helps get your ideas out. Plus you are more likely to remember something if you write it down. I often do this with Trello or Evernote but sometimes good old fashion pen and paper works too.
Sit outside and enjoy the sunshine: If the weather is nice, I sometimes like to just sit outside. It is relaxing and gives me some much needed natural vitamin D.
Spend some time coloring: Coloring is a new favorite hobby of mine. It’s another activity that helps me wind down and unplug.
Go get a glass of water: If I am tired and bored, which is a reason I often find myself zoned out and scrolling social media, I know I probably need something to boost my energy. A big glass of ice water is a great way to help me wake up a bit.
Memorize a bible verse: Fill your mind with scripture instead of random Facebook posts.
Play a game on your own, something to get you thinking: If you need something to wake up your brain, try playing a word game or something else that requires some thought.
Organize something: It seems there’s always something I could be organizing!
Take a quick nap: Sometimes I just need to shut down and take a short nap to recharge.
Wipe down the kitchen and bathroom counters: It’s a quick an easy task that can be done anytime.
Listen to uplifting music: Need some inspiration? Some uplifting tunes may be just the thing! My favorite ways to listen to music are on Spotify or Pandora. I just stream it through the TV with Chromecast.
Work on a new graphic project: I have a list of ideas for graphic projects so there’s probably always something that can be done.
Fill out my planner for the week: Another time I mindlessly scroll is in the morning before I get anything else done. A better use of time would be to fill out my planner which I often forget about.
Write a to do list: Like above, it would help be to stay on task better if I was more consistent with writing out to do lists.
Write in my journal: I need to make more time to just write in my journal.
Work on a craft project: I love finding fun new craft projects but I haven’t been doing them much lately. I’d like to spend more time sewing or crocheting.
Look up home decor ideas: Home decor is on my mind a lot lately! Finding fun ideas is one of my favorite ways to pass time when I don’t have anything else I need to get done.
Call or message a friend: Facebook is often a way to connect with others but it can also be a hindrance to deeper relationships. Try to make more time for personal interaction. A call or message to someone is still more personal than scrolling their Facebook page.
Meet a friend for coffee or lunch: Even better than calling someone would be to actually get together in person!
Bake something: Sometimes I like to bake something just for the fun of it. My husband doesn’t seem to mind!
Update the budget: Not the most fun task in the world but it probably needs to be done.
Look through old photo albums: Scrolling Facebook to see pictures? Why not look through your own photo albums. It may be a fun trip down memory lane.
Look up some new recipes to try: Take a few minutes to find some new recipes to add to your menu.
Make a grocery list: Did you just run out of some things but haven’t written it down yet? Take a few minutes to jot down things you might need before you go shopping again. Don’t forget to add the ingredients of one of those new recipes!
Go to the library: Get out of the house and browse the library for a while.
Do yard work: I finally have a yard!! I’m actually excited to be able to get outside and do some yard work.
If you find yourself mindlessly wasting your time scrolling through social media, think of all the other things you could be doing! I would love to hear some of your ideas or things you can do instead to better use the time you waste online! Let me know in the comments below.