For four weeks, starting on the last day that I’m accepting orders for guaranteed Christmas delivery (Saturday, December 13th to be exact)—I’ll be kicking off my social media break. I’m timing this break to fall during what is both my busiest production period (that final push to get everything shipped for Christmas) and the slowest weeks of the year (the weeks that follow the holiday season). That means: no Instagram, no Pinterest, no Facebook and no Twitter. I’ll also take a break from regular blog posts and won’t be sending out my weekly newsletter.
I’m doing this because, after a year and a half in business, I’m realizing that I need to build in a stretch of time to just pause and regroup.
I’m a mom to two kids under four, I own and operate a handmade business, and I write about running a creative business. On any given day, I’m designing, making, styling, photographing, writing, listing, promoting, pitching, and shipping.
Sometimes I feel like I don’t have a moment to just… think. To get inspired. To remain open to the space where the good ideas arise. In an effort to be more of a minimalist with my commitments and intentional when it comes to my time, I’m realizing that this tech detox may do wonders for resetting some not-so-wonderful habits that have somehow crept into my day.
I use all of the usual social-media suspects daily. So yes—deep breaths—I’ll be deleting them all from my phone during my social media break. I’m not allowing myself to be on social (posting, consuming, responding, commenting, liking, etc.) at all. Plus, so that it truly feels like a real break, I won’t be posting to my blog or sending emails to my list either.
Here’s how I’m planning to spend my time during my social media break:
- Writing and big-picture business visioning. Daily morning pages are a way to get at the unconscious stuff that blocks us from moving forward. As a person who considers herself not so woo-woo, I do believe in this practice whole-heartedly. It works like magic. The thing is… you have to do it. I’d love to get back into a morning ritual of freestyle writing.
- Writing as a guest contributor. Of course I’m keeping my freelance commitments (like this one, which is always a huge highlight of my month).
- Keeping up with the shop. The post-holiday weeks are generally slow, but I’ll still be taking, making, and shipping orders.
- Email. I couldn’t figure out how to let this one go for an entire month. If you guys know a way to ditch email for an extended period of time without wrecking your biz, would you let me know?
- Reading. Oh, to finally finish a book before I get that warning email from the public library.
- Craft projects. Oh, to finally finish those lingering craft projects.
- Watching TV. Preferably paired with a crafting project.
- Embracing the present. This is, well… everything. Whatever it is I’m doing during this holiday season—watching movies with my husband, making an art project with my preschooler, or enjoying my baby’s first Christmas—I want to be doing it entirely. Without Facebook.
- .. being OK with not getting to do everything on this list.
My plans for this social media break are certainly inspired by others’ successes with tech cleanses. Paul Jarvis and Jason Zook devote a two-part series on their podcast to this topic. It’s definitely worth a listen if you’re considering a ‘Dark December,’ as they call it.
But until recently, I honestly never thought that I could do one. As a small business owner, I rely on social media to help generate sales.
Who will be promoting on my behalf? What if people forget about my products and services?
No one, and yes, it’s a possibility.
It’s just a risk that I’ll have to take. I’m willing to face that I may lose readers or potential customers. But I’m OK with that. I’ll bet that many of the Hudson + Daughter friends and fans won’t even notice, or if they do, they’re certainly not going to give it much more of a thought than ‘good for you.’
I have a strong feeling that the benefits—the freeing up of time, the re-commitment to presence—will be an invaluable reward. And, If Nicole and Delilah are willing, I’d love to share my results with you in 2016. *Editor’s note: We can’t wait to hear about the results from your social media break. -Nicole
So, what do you think? Would you try this? Have you already done a tech cleanse? Any tips you’d like to share or insight from what you’ve gained? I’d love to hear!
Rebecca Pitts is the owner and founder of Hudson + Daughter, custom nursery decor and family heirlooms for the people you love. She also shares tips, tools, and inspiration for creatives who sell their products online on her blog and in her weekly newsletter for creative entrepreneurs. When you sign up for the newsletter here, you’ll also get access to the free guides, How to Create Email Newsletters Your Audience Can’t Wait to Open and Must-Have Resources for Your Creative Biz.