I imagine this question a lot. I’m out on the river, I’m with my kids, I’m camping, I’m hiking. I’m in the moment, I’m not worrying about my phone, and I’m really living. Once I wind down, I think about that question. From my followers, my team, and my colleagues. I wonder if they ask this question while scrolling through their feed.
It’s an interesting thing to really unplug in a world so reliant on technology. It’s even more interesting to unplug when you run an online business! However, I truly feel better when I do. And so, I’m working on finding the balance. It looks different for everyone, but it’s something that can make a big difference in being present, feeling lighter, and taking a mental break.
Deciding to Unplug
Many people don’t feel the need to unplug. Maybe they don’t spend a lot of time online anyway, maybe they don’t feel like they are missing out on anything, and maybe they don’t feel bad after spending time on their phone. For me, I sometimes just need a break. I love being more present and not worrying about where my phone is or if I should have recorded the thing my kids just did or if anyone is sending me DMs that need answered. For me, it started small. I stopped bringing my phone to bed. I made an effort to get up and out of bed once I woke up instead of laying in bed and scrolling right when I got up.
Then I started spending a lot of time on the river, which isn’t a great place for a phone to be anyway, and so it was left behind for those adventures. Slowly, I realized how much lighter and present I was feeling. Deciding to really make an effort to leave technology behind some days has proven to be a good thing for my mental health.
Making a Plan
If you decide to do the same, I’ve found that things worked best for me when I made a plan. I love documenting my adventures, so I made sure to get my phone for the quiet moments. When we were making a fire, drinking coffee in the morning, etc. That way I can take photos, check my notifications for anything important, and post if I want to. I also made sure to let people know how to contact me if they needed me, and I make sure that people know when I’ll be harder to get a hold of. Like anything else, I tend to be most successful and at ease with a plan. And so, unplugging was no different.
How This Works With an Online Business
If you run an online business like I do, you may wonder if unplugging is a little counterintuitive. For me, it’s trying to find a balance between being present on social media with all of my amazing followers, and being present in real life with my amazing friends and family. That balance isn’t always perfect, but it’s a thing I’m always mindful of. Here are some tips for unplugging as an online business owner:
Assign a point person: If you can’t be there for your online business over the weekend, or for a day, or for an evening, etc., make sure you have someone watching over things in case your business needs you while you’re unplugged.
Make a content plan: If you like using your own photos or experiences in your business content plan like I do, make a plan to get some content. Take some photos, record some memos for a blog post while your thoughts are still fresh, and then put your phone away again. Maybe you like doing that right in the morning, during lunch, or at night when you’re winding down. Whatever works for you, just make a plan if you decide you want content on unplugged days.
Communicate: Communicate to your team when you’ll be harder to get a hold of and who to go to if they can’t reach you. That will make your team feel supported, and it may make you feel more at ease as well.
Schedule things: Scheduling things is a great resource when you aren’t on your phone, but you don’t want to leave your customers or followers without content for too long. Scheduling emails and social posts can be a big life saver!
Follow a content calendar: If you make a content calendar, it’s easier to see which days or times are best for you to unplug from your business. I have days where I’m not posting or emailing at all, and that works for me! I know on those days, I can be free from my phone a lot easier than on the days where my online community or my team may need me to be present for them.
If you’re ever wondering where I am on social media, I’m probably taking a few hours, or a day, or a weekend to unplug a bit. Or I may just be working my little tail off! I sometimes feel guilty that maybe people are wondering why I’m not on stories all day, but the truth is that I know my followers are great at giving me grace and knowing I’m a normal person who needs a technology break sometimes!
With my business, my kids, my life, and my garden, I feel like I’m always busy, and maybe people don’t want to just see me talking about spreadsheets and marketing all day 😄 but also, I love being present. Present in my real life, and present with my online life, and sometimes it’s hard for me to do both at the same time.
So, if you’re like me, and you want to make an effort to unplug, all it takes is a plan and being mindful and intentional.
Sending so much love!
xo Natalie ❤️
P.S. If you have a business or you’re interested in starting a business, I have a free webclass where I share 3 steps to create an audience of raving fans that results in a wildly successful online business! If you’re interested, click HERE to register!