Work in progress: Raw Sample from My New Project, Spendshift

Work in progress: Raw Sample from My New Project, Spendshift

text3002-1You may have noticed that little blue progress bar in the top right corner of my pages of late. I’m working on a new writing project called Spendshift — a series of lazy hacks to help people free up time and money. Because I think I can hit 50% completion on the project today, I thought I’d share a chapter I wrote this morning (You can check back in a couple of hours to see if I make it to 50%).

This sneak peek is raw and unedited. Enjoy!

Social batching

Tell me if this rings a bell.

You share a picture on either Facebook or Instagram. Maybe you like how your hair looks, or you think there’s something particularly clever or funny about what you’ve snapped. Whatever the case, you spend the next hour obsessively refreshing your post to see if anyone has liked, shared, or commented on it. Not do you know you should be doing other things, but every refresh becomes a judgement on your worth as a human being. (A Like = my life must have meaning after all; no new Likes = life is a cold, cruel motherfucker).

Skipping over the question of why we need social media validation in the first place, let’s just assume it’s not going away anytime soon. The question then becomes, how can we realistically save the amount of time we spend checking our social media – not just the things we post, but whatever all of our friends are up to as well?

The answer to that lies in a classic first world problem: the profound malaise that comes from a stale Facebook feed. It can be particularly bad during the day, when most people are working, but it can sneak up on you any time you start over-checking. Imagine this, instead: a Facebook (Twitter, Instagram, etc.) feed that has multiple notifications every time you check it. Gosh, people really love me. Imagine all of those sweet, sweet responses pouring over you in waves, glorious in their becoming amplitude.

If you train yourself to post/check your feeds at specific times, not only will you save yourselves a hours of feed malaise, but you are also much more likely to see those beloved notifications. To get started, here’s a challenge: try posting just one thing and intentionally not looking at it for two hours. Instead, go do something you find truly enjoyable or rewarding. If you’ve got the refresh tick like me, this should be challenging enough as a starting point.

From there, you can gradually work your way to an optimal “batch” approach to social media, where you check maybe once at noon and once in the evening. There are plenty of free social media management tools available to help you with it, if that’s your thing, but either way, even halving the time you spend on these popular sites can liberate hours upon hours of your week to enjoy pursuits that are will, in the end, feel far more validating than any little red number ever could.

Spendshift drops April 1 on Amazon. Stay tuned for details and a special offer.

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