I have always been an observer and one that enjoys collecting and curating ideas. Lately, I have noticed some trends in books (see below… I highly recommend all 4) as well as some trends in peers’ online behavior:
- Breaks to Reset: I watched Cori Spieker (aka “The Reset Girl”) take a 7 month break from Instagram to achieve balance and an emotional, physical, mental, and spiritual reset.
- Breaks to Reevaluate: Alec Fischr took a 2 month break to reevaluate his authenticity and how that should be revealed through the content he shared.
- Breaks to Refocus: Whitney Woodard, creator of Beaded by W, took a break to refocus her creativity.
- Breaks to Reconstruct Purpose of Tools: Roni Loren, prolific author extraordinaire, took a 30 day break after reading Cal Newport’s new book Digital Minimalism. Her intent was to evaluate the purpose of social media apps in her life and to use them purposefully… not just as a cure for boredom.
I feel like these ideas and trends have led me to feel like I have permission to take a much needed break from social media for a variety of reasons. Now, you know that I don’t follow trends to follow trends… I have my own purposes too. 😉
- What am I modeling?: My boys are getting older and as I scroll mindlessly through Instagram, I start to wonder what digital wellness habits I am modeling?
- Why don’t I have time to create?: My core value is to create. I have to… it gives me purpose and it is the way that I process and make sense of the world. The problem is that I spend so much time either crafting social media posts or scrolling through them that I am not living up to my creative potential. While social media is vital for sharing and collecting ideas and inspirations, I feel like all I am doing is filling up on appetizers and then never having any time for the real meat of my own content creations… blog posts, printables, videos, etc…
- Why do I feel this way?: I have lots of thoughts and feelings. Everyone does. I also struggle daily with anxiety and depression and many times mindlessly scrolling through Facebook and Instagram feeds doesn’t do me any favors. With social media, I feel like I am being constantly reactive but not really proactive in creating content that really matters in the long run. I also feel like I am in need of a priority tune-up and the only way for me to really do that is to remove the external noise so I can take a moment and figure out what control, balance, happiness, and success looks like in this season of my life.
What I Have Already Done:
- Alarm Clock: Got an actual Alarm Clock and Charge my Phone in Another Room.
- Light up Pen: Bought a light up pen to put on a nightstand with a pad of paper for late night ideas (rather than using my phone).
- Screen Time: Track my Screen Time through apps like Moment and Screen Time in iOS12.
- Unsubscribe: Use Unroll.Me to unsubscribe from unwanted emails (more on this in Email Bankruptcy).
- Desktop Zen: Create a Custom Desktop Organizer for Desktop Zen and Focus.
- Facebook App: Deleted FB app from my phone (this is the one that was the biggest time suck for me prior to Instagram).
- Facebook Shortcuts: Change shortcut to Facebook in toolbar to go to my Facebook page and not my personal Facebook feed so when I go to Facebook, I go with a purpose.
- Analog Notes: Take Analog Notes to remove my digital distractions.
- Books: Read predominantly Paper copies of Books and started a reader’s notebook to help with retention.
- Planner and Bullet Journal: Got planner and bullet journal to help with time management and reflection (I go deeper into planners, bullet journaling, analog notes and reader’s notebooks in my new book, Creatively Productive).
How I Plan To Do a 30 Day Social Media Digital Detox:
- Delete Social Media Shortcuts from Computer: Delete ALL shortcuts to social media from my bookmarks bar.
- Really Restrict Social Media from my Computer: I have self control… I do… but sometimes I get bored and sometimes the habit of typing “Facebook” or “Twitter” into my browser bar is strong. So, I downloaded the FREE Self Control app. You type in the sites you don’t want access to and then it blocks them for a specific amount of time. In my case… I just block it for 24 hours every morning.
- Delete Social Media Apps for Phone or Tablet: Delete ALL social media apps (turn it into a “distraction free” phone) from my phone (and maybe email if need be).
- Let People Know: Put a graphic to my blog about the detox on all of my social media accounts (something like Roni’s) so people know what is going on and how they can still connect with you (e.g. in person, text, call, GHO, Skype, email, blog, newsletter).
- Reading Reminder: Put a graphic on my phone to remind me to read a book (see Austin Kleon’s example).
- Book Keeping: Keep an actual book with me at all times.
- Remove Notifications: Turn off all notifications on my phone and Macbook (except phone and text).
- Track and Reflect: Track what I do and how I feel throughout the digital declutter (will most likely use a combination of an app like Daylio and an actual journal).
I hope this helps. I will be blogging through the process and sharing my thoughts and feelings along the way. In the interim, check out Roni’s post “After the 30-Day Social Media Ban: What Surprised Me & What I’m Changing”. And if you want to take a super deep dive into the particulars of configuring your iPhone for productivity and focus, this article is for you “How to Configure Your iPhone to Work for You, Not Against You”.