Facebocrastination. (v) 1. to waste time on Facebook especially to avoid doing work (homework or otherwise).
It’s not just you — everyone checks Facebook at work. Actually, over three-quarters of us use social media while at work according to a new study by the Pew Research Center. Most often, employees cite “taking a mental break from work” (34%) or “connecting with friends and family members” (27%) as a motive for logging-in.
An obvious question – is this hurting employee productivity? Maybe not. Research from the University of Melbourne found: 70% of employees allowed to browse the Web for up to 20% of their day improved their overall productivity by 9%. It seems that “short and unobtrusive breaks … enables the mind to reset itself, leading to a higher total net concentration for a day’s work, and as a result, increased productivity.”
But that isn’t the whole the story.
Access to social media has created new self-control challenges for many people — particularly those who use Facebook to avoid other, more important, tasks. We’ve all been there. One minute you’re working on a report, and then it gets difficult or boring. So you take a quick break and you check Facebook — but for some of us, this is where it starts to get sticky. A recent study reveals that people low in self-control are more likely to lose track of time and end up using Facebook much longer than intended. This is Facebocrastination, and this can be a problem!
Why? Because several studies show a link between procrastination and stress. When procrastinators finally attend to their postponed work, they typically struggle with the drawbacks of decreased time to finish tasks and negative self-evaluative thoughts and emotions (e.g., rumination, worry, etc) – all of which increase levels of stress.
What can we do? We can change the way we use Facebook at work — we’re often not actively engaged. We just “check in” to see what’s happening, or browse without a particular goal in mind. Research recommends that we be more mindful and more intentional in our use of social networks. This can help keep five minutes from turning into 15 minutes when you really should be focused on work.
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