How To Avoid Wasting Time With Facebook and E-mail

When you own your own business, time is precious. Many of us struggle to accomplish everything we need to do in just one day. However, we may frequently find we’re wasting time, especially when it comes to e-mail and Facebook.


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So, how can we avoid wasting time and still get the important work completed?

  • Check your e-mail and Facebook only one or two times a day, and at specific times. Many people check them in the morning and the evening. If that does not work for you, make checking them a reward for getting a difficult project done.
  • If you find yourself losing huge chunks of time while checking e-mails and Facebook, set a timer. When the timer goes off, you must stop, no matter what. This will help you from wasting an hour or two, when you only want to spend a few minutes taking a break.
  • If you use e-mail and Facebook for business, have a separate account for that purpose. Be sure that when you are on for business, you are in a business mindset. You are on the computer to communicate with clients and build relationships for business. You are not on Facebook for pleasure. You should still set a timer so you do not waste big chunks of your day on Facebook and e-mails.
  • If you use e-mail and Facebook for business, know what you need to do each day. Make sure that you do it. Many people and small businesses hire a social media manager so that they do not spend all day focusing on social media marketing. This saves them a lot of time because they will not be spending time commenting and posting on Facebook when they need to be focusing on work projects.

E-mail and Facebook can be complete time wasters though many people enjoy taking breaks and catching up with friends. Many people also try to use them for business, allowing them to make excuses for spending hours in front of the computer communicating with friends. With a few guidelines, like using a timer so that you don’t waste a whole afternoon that you needed to be doing something else, you can still have a successful business and spend some time using e-mails and Facebook.

Contact The Sherwood Group for more help to make your business run more smoothly!

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This article is published by Will Sherwood | The Sherwood Group |Website Design | Graphic Design | Marketing Communications: The Sherwood Group has over 30 years of experience working with all sorts of companies, small and large. Our clients range from entrepreneurs to Fortune 500 firms, in nearly every business sector, from across the street to around the world (and yes, even Europe, China, and South America). Our goal is to create advertising,  graphic design, website design, and marketing communication that still looks fresh and relevant 10-15 years later. Our mission is to stir your imagination and leave your competition shaken and wondering,  Now what do we do?”  We are located in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

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Please comment. We’d like to know if you found this article informative or helpful?


  • By Gerard 24 Jan 2015

    What about spending time on Linkedin?!?! I make a habit of only utilizing Facebook after work, and only through my phone. By using the phone app, there’s less risk of getting into chats with friends, or clicking on games or too many articles/video. Unfortunately – Email rules my work, that’s how I get a lot of business done, and my organization is heavy in email communication. I think email dependency is based largely on the culture of your organization, but I know of people that deliberately only answer people who’ve emailed them twice about the same topic – with their theory being, ‘If it’s that important, they’ll email me again…’. Not sure I agree, but I get the logic.

  • By Alan Ralph 24 Jan 2015

    I would suggest removing as much distraction as possible from both your email and Facebook. I like your idea of having a separate account for business on Facebook, but even then you can fall into the trap of having too much stuff in your news feed. I’m being particularly brutal now, and only liking pages that actually provide some value to me, and turning on notifications for those pages so that you’re guaranteed to see their updates. On the email side, I’ve unsubscribed from most mailing lists, and set up rules to funnel stuff that I don’t need to see right away out of the inbox and into separate folders. Another thing to bear in mind is that whilst you might have closed your email on your computer, you might still be getting notifications on your phone or tablet – I’ve changed those notifications so that they don’t pop up and distract, but I can see them later when I choose to.

  • By Mike Van Horn 24 Jan 2015

    My New Year’s resolution is to have one of my computers email free, so that I’m not plagued by those little pop up announcements. Then when I need to concentrate I work on the laptop dedicated to writing.

  • By Al Shultz 24 Jan 2015

    I minimize my Facebook time by rarely making a post on it and almost never adding a new contact on it. Email is a whole other story, however. I’ve just had to get increasingly ruthless in deleting without reading over 90% of everything I don’t immediately recognize as being from someone I know or otherwise critical.

    Al Shultz

  • By Kevin Casey 24 Jan 2015

    I set tighter deadlines for the work I have to do – so there’s no time available to waste. This makes me work faster and be more focused. But yes, procrastination is not an easy beast to tame. Using a timer (and not looking at any emails or social media for at least 2 hours at a stretch) can also help.
    One of the advantages of being a busy and in-demand professional writer is that I now find I have far less time to waste watching TV now. Eliminating this distraction has added hours to my day.
    Now, if I can just eliminate the 10 minutes a day I spend deleting all those emails from Prince Ripuov from Nigeria and the $10 million lottery folks ….

  • By Elias Jones 24 Jan 2015

    I use a service called RescueTime ( to set “productivity goals” and keep track of the time I spend in front of (all) my computers. You could call it time tracking through contrition, but I’ve found the window into my behavior to be a powerful check and balance.

  • By Fred Held 25 Jan 2015

    A case for dah face book.

    I find that facebook is getting very good for business purposes. With well over a 1.2 billion subcribers you can select business contacts. I find many are both on linkedin where you can’t post pictures. If I want that same contact to see a picture I do it on facebook.

    The reason I say this is because I get the feeling that some of you feel facebook is a bit juvenile and my counter is social media is passing you up in the dust.

  • By Ravindran M 25 Jan 2015

    Well I don’t spend much time on Facebook, but a heavy user of e-mail. For most part, I communicate, collaborate and exchange information or ideas with my colleagues over e-mail. I use LinkedIn primarily to stay connected with peers and partners in the business ecosystem as well with special interest groups. In my view, these channels help improve individual productivity.

  • By Austin Bliss 25 Jan 2015

    My tip is to turn off notifications! Configure your technology so you engage with Facebook, email, etc. when you are ready and on your own terms, not when a popup or beep tells you to. The threat to productivity is interruptions and distractions.

  • By 26 Jan 2015

    Alas, if email were used like a memo, which is what it is, life would be grand! However, not everyone got the memo (Read the memo here so, like Al Shultz, I also delete about 90% of email messages because they are low priority newsletters and event or product promos. I still want to engage with select companies, but I don’t have time to read every article/newsletter in detail. Phrases that explain this “condition” is: TMI, content bubble, information overload, and content filtering.

    I use to route all newsletters to Gmail, but in an effort to limit the number of accounts that are checked for messages, some emails come to me. In addition to deleting without opening, I am now a master message skimmer!

    For the record, I deleted my company’s Facebook page within a year of setting it up. As long as there is a business ROI associated with engagement, kudos to companies that are growing as a result of Facebook engagement. On this end, growth is realized through Twitter, LinkedIn, and industry-specific groups on Having a brand-driven marketing and communications strategy can redirect focus and help with time management.

  • By DuvLady 26 Jan 2015

    Good article! But my clients would go crazy if i only checked my email twice a day. I like to at least let them know that i will be able to work on their job within a certain time period so they aren’t left hanging. FB – i could definitely not check as much.

  • By Diana Marinova 27 Jan 2015

    Good reminders, Will – i used to use FB for work and naturally, i wasted a lot of time there because I had the habit to simply be in FB. As time went by, I stopped doing daily management of FB pages but my habit to hang around in FB remained. I tried many things but nothing worked. And finally, a few months ago I kicked the habit by doing the simplest thing (not sure why it took me so much time to see it!) – i simply removed F from my bookmarks toolbar.

    At first, driven by my habit, I was always going to the bookmarks toolbar to click the FB icon but when it wasn’t there, I simply moved on to doing something else. Now I don’t crave FB and I almost never log in today 🙂

    By the way, you open your article with “when you own your own business, time is precious”. Truth be told, time IS precious regardless what you do and whether you won your business or not. It’s just that small business owners, entrepreneurs, solopreneurs, freelancers and everyone else who is not someone’s employee tends to appreciate time more…

  • By Jennifer Newell 30 Mar 2015

    These are great suggestions! I love setting a timer when I go onto *any* social media platform or when I start digging through the 200+emails I receive every day. It’s far too easy to get bogged down reading through everything. A timer helps keep me focused and reminds me to move onto other things after a set amount of time. Thanks for sharing!

  • By Ricky Sohrabi 09 Jun 2020

    there are so many funny videos on the internet to watch, i can laugh all day watching funny videos”