Why Facebook Is The Silent Killer Of Your Productivity.

— March 24, 2017

You’re the average of the 5 people who you spend most time with.

It’s an often-quoted piece of wisdom, first popularised by the late Jim Rohn.

The basic premise is – surround yourself with awesome people and you will pick up some of their habits and outlooks, thus giving yourself a shortcut to also becoming awesome.

(Or productive, effective, efficient, loving, confident, good-looking…)

Well, maybe not the last one.

It’s good advice, which I follow closely.

In the past few years I’ve become more comfortable with culling from my inner circle people who do not share my values, goals and motivations.

However, there’s a crucial part of this process which escaped my attention until recently, which I’d like to share with you on this Sunday afternoon.


Like many people, I have a partner who I’m married to. Steven is both a life and a business partner.

I also have a best friend whose opinions I value.

I also regularly talk about business with a successful startup founder and and an senior HR manager whose counsel I respect.

Who are yours?


There’s one more “person” who I suspect you also have in your Top 5 – without realising it.

This “person” – or entity, to be more precise – influences how you think. More importantly, it demands your attention, thus limiting cognitive bandwidth you have available to other – possibly more valuable – sources of influence.

And yet, it’s useless when it comes to helping you reach our goals, building a better future and becoming more effective.

You guessed it – it’s whichever feed you mindlessly scroll through on your mobile device:

  • Facebook
  • Channel 7, reminding you about “wild weather in Queensland” and the latest “outrage” by some politician
  • Instagram

Whatever your digital poison is.


Unconsciously consuming a poorly curated newsfeed on a mainstream media platform might mildly entertain or distract you for a fleeting moment, but it won’t help reach your potential.

It won’t help you live a big life.

You don’t need more mediocre entertainment in your life. What you really want is more personal power.




Now, truth time. How many minutes (or hours) did you spend flipping through a mobile media feed in the last week?

Does that make Facebook the unofficial 5th influencer (dare I say, mentor) in your life?


A month ago I realised that this was certainly the case for me.

I was the sum of my husband, a good friend, a few businesspeople and collective consciousness of my entire Facebook feed.

I’d check the feed nearly every time I had a “spare” moment – in a lift, waiting for my coffee or sitting at the traffic lights.

It was a compulsive, but pointless habit.

The problem with using Facebook this way is that the information you absorb is comprised, to a huge extent, of people who you have little in common with, people who now firmly belong in your past as well as completely random people whose content is served up only because one of your “friends” likes it.

You probably can’t see any value in going for coffee with any of these folks.

So why give your attention to their digital noise?


Shortly after this realisation, I deleted Facebook from my phone and replaced it with Medium.

It’s currently the best online destination – if personal growth, business growth and living a big life are your goals.

CEOs, startup founders (with actual functioning startups) and interesting professionals share their best insights and life lessons. These men and women, together, are now my unofficial 5th influencer.

I chose them carefully, because each has walked along the same path as I do. But even without careful curation, most of the stories which will appear in your Medium feed will bristle with intelligence and wisdom.

Here are the top stories in my Medium feed today. Feel free to follow these authors to give yourself a kick-start on the platform.

(Oh, and don’t forget to delete Facebook from your phone. For 30 days. I challenge you).

The Nuances Of Negotiating

Gary Vaynerchuk, the polarizing CEO of Vayner Media, shares insights on how to create win-win situations – and the most common mistake made during negotiations.

The Science Behind Procrastination – And How You Can Beat It

Darious Foroux, an immensely productive businessperson and writer, reveals why willpower doesn’t help you with procrastination. And what does.

Success Is Making Those Who Believed In You Look Brilliant

Dharmesh Shah, CTO behind one of Google’s most successful investment decisions (HubSpot) talks about how to build a culture at your company (not just an illusion of one).

We’re about to enter the second half of 2017.

For me, it will be a period of becoming more aware of who and what shapes my world and consciously choosing a path which allows me to have the most impact. Join me?

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Author: Irene McConnell

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