6 Ways To Become Productive on Facebook

By Abhijeet Mukherjee

April 19, 2010   •   Fact checked by Dumb Little Man


I know, I know, Facebook and productivity are words that don’t belong in the same sentence. I mean in many ways, these words are antonyms, just like night and day.

Well, I’d contend that it depends on your perception of the tool. Yes, it is a social network that’s supposed to be used primarily for fun and staying in touch. But, there’s a lot more to Facebook than just commenting on your friend’s status. It’s an information heaven. And unless you know how to use it productively, it is, as some call it, a waste of time.

This article attempts to introduce you to some practical Facebook productivity tips that you should be implementing when you are on this network. No, it doesn’t lessen the fun; it actually adds to it. Check them out and share your opinion in the comments.

Set aside time

Here’s the first tip – set aside time everyday for Facebook (if you visit it everyday that is). It could be multiple time intervals of, let’s say, 15 or 20 mins or just one stretch of an hour or two. But set aside time and stick to that schedule. Sounds silly? Well, you have no idea how much time you end up spending on Facebook each day. This is the first step towards becoming productive with this site. Know how much time you spend there!

One more thing I’d recommend is using a timer to track the time when you are on Facebook. You should do it initially for a few days at least. Later, once you get used to the fixed time thing, you might not need the timer any more.

Create friend lists

You’d agree that there’s a trend of randomly adding friends on Facebook, whether you know the person or not. You see a friend request, glance at the profile for a second or two and then add the person. I do it too and that’s how I’ve got a huge list of Facebook friends. It’s bigger than I can manage. But thanks to friend lists, I can filter information easily.

Creating friend lists in Facebook is a way to keep track of close friends and give priority to their updates. Here’s an article that tells you how to create a friend list in Facebook chat. It helps you selectively appear offline to a group of people. You could also create friend lists by going to “Friends” on the left column in your home page and then clicking “Create List” tab on the top.

Master the privacy settings

I’d say it is very important to be aware of the various privacy settings in Facebook and how to set them according to your preferences. It could save you a lot of time and hassle in the long run. I know people who’ve spent days regretting joining Facebook because of things, they didn’t know could happen, happened. And most of the time, it is because they were unaware of Facebook’s privacy settings.

Here’s a detailed article that talks about some important privacy settings in Facebook. It’s an old article but it’ll give you the picture. You could also explore by going to Account->Privacy Settings and see what are the options you have there.

Remove Annoying Apps

Most of us end up adding a lot of unnecessary applications to our Facebook account. And we keep getting those updates and notifications that increase clutter in the profile and news feed. Plus, there have been security issues with some apps in the past.

Removing the apps you hardly use is recommended. It’ll clean up your profile too. Although Facebook doesn’t make the process obvious, you can follow this step by step guide to remove the Facebook apps you don’t need.

Filter Your News Feed

Filtering Facebook’s news feed lets you segment information and see what matters first. Friend lists can help you filter information related to them. You could also check out the options in the left column to quickly skim through status updates, photos, events etc.

Abhijeet Mukherjee

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