You may have been hearing more and more about the importance of Digital Detoxing – unplugging from your devices and taking time off to rest your mind and body.
People in general are spending more and more time glued to their screens, but it’s entrepreneurs that often find it hardest to disconnect and let go of managing every online interaction and aspect of their business.
After all, we’ve been inundated with advice around staying relevant, being available, daily interaction and outreach.
Now you’re being bombarded with messages to stop being so engaged.
Too much screen time is bad for your health, your sleep, your productivity, your gut flora, and even your pets! Put down your phone, step away from your desktop, go to a Digital Detox Retreat and reap the benefits of some free time and fresh air.
It sounds fantastic, but how can you? You have a social media calendar to fill, posts to create, images to source, blog entries to write. Where are you supposed to find any time to have free time?
Luckily, there are ways to off-load some of your responsibilities and create some breathing room. So, instead of just urging you to unplug and detox, here are some practical ways to make that happen.
Pre-scheduling Posts and Ads
You should already be using an app or service that allows you to schedule your social media posts ahead of time. Take full advantage of that capability.
If you plan on detoxing in, say, January, begin filling your January schedule over the next few months with posts and ads that will keep your business presence alive, but that don’t require any hands-on participation.
Don’t run a sale that sets you up for weeks of pitching and responding. For that month, choose posts and ads that are more informational and attractive rather than interactive.
Pick a couple of weeks or a month where your metrics have shown some downtime already.
If you normally have less customer engagement in March or September, that’s a good choice for creating detox time. Even if you aren’t online to thank every commenter or engage with your peers, the impact on your business and revenue should be minimal, if at all.
Speaking of Your Peers…
Outsourcing some of your blog posts during your detox is a fantastic way to create engagement and connection even while you’re away.
Reach out to a few people in your own or a related field and ask if they’d be willing to present some of their own thoughts and work as a special feature.
This is something you should consider even if you aren’t planning on a break, but it’s especially useful when you want to step back entirely. Let someone else run your show for a little while. Offer to do the same for them. This crossover can bring you fresh customers and expand your online presence even while you’re off hiking in the Himalayas.
Value Your Own Time
It’s OK to step back and not hold your customers’ hands every minute of the day. Trust that you’re dealing with adults who understand that life happens to us all.
It’s OK to set your email responder to something along the lines of:
“Hi, sorry, I’ll be unavailable for the month of April. I’m looking forward to talking with you when I return.”
Chances are that anyone you alienate with that message isn’t someone you wanted to work with anyway. If you really can’t just vanish for any length of time, you can ask a coworker to be your voice for a while, or hire a service to respond to your messages.
You are the spark that keeps the fire hot. If you feel yourself burning out, it’s worth taking time for yourself. Leaving your screens behind and letting your mind expand beyond the characters on your keyboard can lead to renewed energy and focus.
You and your business can benefit from a digital detox, so it might be time to let yourself escape for a while.