There’s no getting around it: social media is often little more than a mildly entertaining way of wasting time. Sure, it might be fun now and then, but mostly it’s the number one reason you don’t get important but difficult tasks done. In other words, the downsides vastly outweigh the benefits.

That’s a great reason to cut out technological distractions if you want to improve your time management. That doesn’t mean you have to renounce tech altogether and become a neo-Luddite. What it does mean is that you should start looking at which technologies are helping you achieve your aims and which are undermining your efficiency.

Even social media can be of aid to you, as long as you’re primarily using it to connect with friends and colleagues or to build your network. But if you’re mindlessly scrolling through your Twitter feed or looking at photos on Facebook instead of working on something important, it might be time to rethink your social media usage.

How you choose to go about eliminating these kinds of distractions depends on how much of an issue they are for you. Hopelessly addicted to social media? Delete your account. If it’s less drastic than that, simply switching off your devices now and again should do the trick. Other options include creating a work-focused computer account and disabling the sites that tend to sidetrack you.

But it’s not just technology, apps and smartphones that prevent you from getting down to meaningful or important tasks. Often enough, it’s your own meandering thoughts that stand in your way. Concentrating on the work at hand when your brain keeps wandering off is next to impossible. Even worse, losing your train of thought can make that brilliant idea you just had virtually impossible to recover. So what’s the solution?

Well, it’s actually a pretty simple: make sure you always have a notepad nearby and keep a record of your best ideas before they disappear into thin air. That’s a great way of giving yourself a prompt when you return from your daydreams. Just look down at your last entry, and you’ll be able to pick up the thread where you left off!

IWOKCENTER.