How to Stop Procrastinating and Use Facebook Productively

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. 

How to Stop Procrastinating and Use Facebook Productively

What's the Big Idea?


One of the key take-home messages of Charles Duhigg’s new book The Power of Habit – Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business is that habits are pernicious little buggers. Over time, they become hardwired in the brain such that you can’t just will yourself to change them. 

Take Facebook. The average person spends nearly 80 hours per month on Facebook. No doubt a healthy portion of that time can be considered procrastination. After all, we are attached to computers, and it is all too easy to seek that "reward," as Duhigg puts it, since there is no equivalent "work reward" that can compete with scrolling through pictures and profile updates.

So how can you break this habit and be more productive?

Duhhig says go ahead, and take 5 minutes per hour. That's right, don't ignore the urge, actually put it on your schedule. In other words, once a habit exists, Duhigg says, "you can't just pretend it's not there." So if you schedule this time as a 5-minute break from work, your behavior won't explode (as it might be now) into 45-minute sessions of pure distraction. 

Watch the video here:

"Willpower is a muscle," Duhigg says, "and the same is true with our ability to focus." Therefore he recommends you practice "going longer and longer without taking a 5-minute break. Then you will be able to focus longer."

What’s the Significance? 

In tough economic times, businesses strive to do more with less. For workers, this means more responsibility and higher expectations of productivity. This produces anxiety, which can lead to wrong decisions – at every level of a company – about how best to realize our goals.  

Now, more than ever, employers and workers need to understand how habits operate. Resourcefulness in times of crisis depends upon creativity, which is only accessible when we work realistically – organizing our time and efforts in ways that take human psychology into account. 

Management really needs to take the lead here, building an office culture that supports and rewards genuine, sustainable progress more than it does the appearance of effort.

Jason Gots contributed to this post. 

Why the number 137 is one of the greatest mysteries in physics

Famous physicists like Richard Feynman think 137 holds the answers to the Universe.

Pixabay
Surprising Science
  • The fine structure constant has mystified scientists since the 1800s.
  • The number 1/137 might hold the clues to the Grand Unified Theory.
  • Relativity, electromagnetism and quantum mechanics are unified by the number.
Keep reading Show less

Americans under 40 want major reforms, expanded Supreme Court

Younger Americans support expanding the Supreme Court and serious political reforms, says new poll.

Demonstrators In Louisville calling for justice for Breonna Taylor.

Credit: Jon Cherry/Getty Images
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Americans under 40 largely favor major political reforms, finds a new survey.
  • The poll revealed that most would want to expand the Supreme Court, impose terms limits, and make it easier to vote.
  • Millennials are more liberal and reform-centered than Generation Z.
Keep reading Show less

Can fake news help you remember real facts better?

A 2020 study published in the journal of Psychological Science explores the idea that fake news can actually help you remember real facts better.

Credit: Rawpixel.com on Shutterstock
Mind & Brain
  • In 2019, researchers at Stanford Engineering analyzed the spread of fake news as if it were a strain of Ebola. They adapted a model for understanding diseases that can infect a person more than once to better understand how fake news spreads and gains traction.
  • A new study published in 2020 explores the idea that fake news can actually help you remember real facts better.
  • "These findings demonstrate one situation in which misinformation reminders can diminish the negative effects of fake-news exposure in the short term," researchers on the project explained.
Keep reading Show less
Scroll down to load more…
Quantcast