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Dear Social Media Expert,

How do I stop using social media when I'm a marketing manager?

I’m feeling really bogged down by my addiction to social media, but I simply don’t know how to do my job without being personally active on all the platforms.

Help! Is this possible?

Tired of Mindlessly Scrolling

Dear Tired of Mindlessly Scrolling,

I feel your pain. As a social media manager, balancing my time spent on social channels can be one of the most challenging parts of the job!

There have been many times when I wish I was able to not only delete the apps from my phone, but deactivate my personal accounts entirely. However, I know maintaining a profile on these channels is necessary for my job—whether it’s for testing out new features or keeping up my personal accounts for appearance. Who wants to hire a social media manager who isn’t active on social media?

At the end of the day, I’ve found that it’s not necessarily about leaving the platforms—it’s about setting up systems to help you stay sane.

1. Revamp Your Phone

The first step is to dive straight to your phone. Are your social media apps right on the first page? I’ve moved all of mine to a single folder and “hid” it on the third page. This small trick has really helped me not reach for those apps first whenever I grab my phone.

Are you able to turn off push notifications? I’ve turned off all notifications for the social accounts on my phone. I’m less likely to take a look if I’m not getting a notification or seeing that dreaded numbered red dot on my app.

Additionally, Facebook and Instagram recently launched new tools to help manage your time on those channels.

2. Keep Track of Your Time

You’ve heard of people blocking out time to answer emails, now take that concept and apply it to social media.

Set a timer for 10 or 15 minutes–depending on how long you need to be on for—and stick to that. Personally, I use this 1-click-timer Google Chrome extension.

You can also block out times on your calendar that are dedicated to going online, so your time spent on social media is only when you need to be there.

Look at where you can cut down on time. Are you posting on the weekends? If not, maybe you spend Sunday or even just Sunday morning social media-free. Small increments of time offline might not feel like they’re making a difference in the moment, but they add up.

3. Don’t Be Afraid to Unfollow, Snooze, and Mute

Do you have a friend who posts constantly? We all do. Take advantage of built-in tools like Mute or Snooze.

On Facebook, the Snooze feature allows users to temporarily mute people or pages in their feed for 30 days. I have 95% of my friends snoozed. It’s the best of both worlds: I’m still able to keep my Facebook friends and Like the pages I need to, without seeing posts in my feed that tempt me to stay on the channel for longer than I need to be.

Need more separation? We’ve all been there. Go ahead and unfollow accounts. On Facebook, you’ll still be able to stay friends with that person or remain in that Facebook Group, but you won’t see their content in your feed.

Similar features on Instagram and Twitter help to create a boring feed that will prevent you from wanting to stay on longer.

While unfortunately it’s not 100% possible to go social-media-free in your position—trust me, I’ve tried—it is possible to cut back. Best of luck!

This article is part of our Ask an Expert series—a column dedicated to helping you tackle your biggest career concerns. Our experts are excited to answer all of your burning questions, and you can submit one by emailing us at editor(at)themuse(dot)com and using Ask a Social Media Expert in the subject line.

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