I was going to write this article earlier, but I accidentally got caught up scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed… Have you experienced a similar situation? Every day? Multiple times? Yeah. I thought so.
We’ve all been there, trapped in the dark hole that is the Facebook newsfeed. Those who say they haven’t are either lying or above age 50. After catching myself in this mindless exercise one too many times, I finally decided to do something about it. I realized that if I harnessed the time I spend on Facebook and shifted it to activities of self-development, it could make a real impact in my life. It’s not that I stopped using Facebook, so much as every time I realized I was mindlessly scrolling, I decided to go on DuoLingo. This has evolved to include a few other activities, but for the month and a half I’ve been employing this tactic I’ve felt more confident and more importantly, infinitely more productive. I’m not here to tell you how to live your life, but just to suggest some ways that can help you improve it. Here are five activities you can do to start being more productive with your time:
As I already mentioned, DuoLingo is my go-to. My dream is to live in Milan, Italy. I spent several months studying abroad there and my Italian became almost fluent during that time. However, with very few opportunities to practice since I left, my skills have noticeably decreased. So I thought to myself, “okay Serg, if you want to get serious about moving to Italy someday (soon) you’re going to need the language skills.” It was then that I decided every time I was on Facebook just scrolling, I would immediately go to DuoLingo and practice my Italian. You can and should do the same! It’s a wonderful resource to learn any language from Spanish to Korean, all the while helping to translate the web!
2. Compelling Questions
Surely you have a set of questions, not yes-or-no questions, that you’ve wondered about for a while. For example, I’ve always wondered what the difference between a rotary engine and an inline engine is. Instead of spending your time watching cat videos and sifting through click-bait, you can start answering your list of questions! Maybe you can even write some questions down just to have an arsenal ready to be delved into when the perils of Facebook are encroaching.
3. Nation Exploration
There are 196 official nations in the world (give or take a few depending on who you ask). I know it may seem crazy that there are other places in the world besides North America and Europe, but it’s true!
4. DIY Deftness
Isn’t your faucet leaking? Your bike has a flat? It’s a shame you are so busy all the… oh wait, you’re just looking at your friend’s post about the best memes? Well there’s no better time to check out those penny-saving DIY tips that will make you feel like you can take on the world. You might not be a master handyman, but you can always make a cool new deer-clock.
5. Courses & Tutorials
You may be wanting to learn a new skill or how to use a certain program. For example, I am interested in learning how to use Adobe Premiere and Adobe Illustrator. When I find myself endlessly creepin’ on social media, I head to YouTube and watch some tutorials for these programs. Another example is Code Academy for those who want to learn basic coding techniques. The best part about it is you can find tutorials or courses that are relevant to your interests.
All this is not to say you should shun social media. It’s fun to see what people are up to and it’s a great way to stay in touch with friends. However, if you’re not actively doing anything when you’re visiting the site, you can spend that time in more productive ways!