Have you ever thought about how social media affects your productivity, creativity, and overall satisfaction with your business? Perhaps you are wondering if there’s a way to strike a better balance with social media when it plays an important role in your business. If so, you’re definitely not alone.
I’ve been consistent on my social media platforms for over 3 years, posting and engaging between 3 times a day to 3 times a week even before I had any help for my business!
But this year I found myself stuck in a rut. I felt like I needed to unplug and stop. Completely.
A one-week planned break turned into a 3-week detox that completely changed my relationship with social media. It allowed me to reestablish boundaries with myself, but more importantly, it inspired me to implement more effective systems into my daily and weekly routines.
So, I want to let you in on some of the invaluable changes I’ve made that now better protect my time, energy, and overall mindset as a business owner, in hopes that it can help you too!
It helped me redefine what role I want social media to play in my life
Going off the grid for 3 weeks created space in my mind to think clearly, rest, and not get bogged down by all the noise social media throws our way.
It brought me back to how times were before social media. Remember how life was back then? We had all these beautiful moments in our day to be present, enjoy life with loved ones, and not constantly compare ourselves to others. It was our life, our progress, and we were content with that.
It’s not like I spent loads of time on social media to begin with. But even with limited time there, it’s crazy how much social media messes with your head and makes you feel like you’re falling behind.
I’m a personal development girl. I read books, meditate, do therapy, breath work, protect my sleep, and journal. And it’s made me realize the more time I’m connected to social media, the more I need to disconnect and reconnect back to myself.
During my break, I had a personal heart-to-heart and asked “How has social media been affecting my mood, motivation, and overall joy?” because I wanted to get crystal clear on what role I’d have social media play in my life moving forward.
I journaled about it, pouring out all my thoughts without judgment. And my big takeaway? I realized that for me, social media is just a marketing tool, nothing more, nothing less. It’s a way to get my message out there for my business and connect with the right people, especially women who need to hear what I have to offer.
So, with that in mind, I decided no more random scrolling when I’m searching for a sound, no more comparisons, and definitely no more caring about opinions I didn’t ask for. I mean, I love how social media connects us with like-minded people and our dream customers, but let’s be real, it can also mess with us as business owners if we aren’t careful.
Since then, I’ve set some new boundaries and made six key changes in my social media process. It’s been a game-changer, and I feel more in control of my work and my life than ever before.
It helped me implement new boundaries
Once I figured out the role I wanted in social media, next it was time to establish boundaries and create changes so I can stick to them. Here’s what they were:
Change #1: New posting times
For a couple of years, I used to wait until after I finished my most important task of the day, which was right before lunch, to post on social media.
By having this social media break, I realized I wanted to try posting on social media at the beginning of my workday. That way, I could cross it off my list and have the rest of the day to focus on other tasks. Since I made this change, I have to say, I’m loving it!
Of course, I know what works for me today might change in the future. But for now, this is what’s making me feel calmer and more in control of my day, so I’ll stick to this posting schedule for a while.
I did notice a bit of a dip in views and engagement when I first started posting early in the day. But after a week of posting at that same time, the views and engagement started picking up again. I even had three videos go viral, which hadn’t happened in a while before I took this social media detox! It was one of many signs that proved that this change was a good one.
Change #2: New social media batching process
My social media batching process always evolves during different seasons of my business. Last year, I was all about batching my posts for the week ahead because it felt pretty manageable.
What I’ve changed is now batching even further ahead so I have more weekly freedom to step back when I need to and even more content scheduled in advance.
The timing couldn’t have been better because I was already transitioning my social media batching process from Google Sheets to Notion. And now, I use Notion to keep a pipeline of posts ready, and I schedule specific times in my calendar to batch-create content based on the different steps in my creation process.
For example, if I wanted to, one day, I could chill in sweatpants and focus on writing captions if I’m not up to showing my face on camera. Then, on another day, I can get into the groove and record a whole bunch of posts. It’s made the process more enjoyable and way less stressful for me.
As a heads up, I share my entire content-batching process inside the Social Media Planning Masterclass. If you’re curious to dive deeper and learn more, make sure to join the waitlist. I’m always updating it with the latest evolutions of my content creation process!
Change #3: Breaking down a social media routine more specifically with a timer
You might’ve seen me on Instagram using a countdown timer when I’m in deep work mode. That’s because it’s actually what helps me stay focused. Well, maybe not 100% of the time, but it’s been a heck of a lot better than not using any timer at all!
What’s cool about the timer I’m using, in particular, is that it shows me how much time I’ve already spent on a task and adds a little bit of healthy pressure in trying to get that task done. I’ve tried using my phone’s alarm in the past, but time seems to magically disappear when I don’t have a visual countdown, and I’d often just end up hitting the snooze button! I’ll link to the timer here if you’d like to snag it for yourself.
Anyways, I’ve divided up my social media tasks into:
- 5 minutes to reply to comments
- 5 minutes to reply to DMs
- 5 minutes to prepare a post and publish it
- 5 minutes to interact and engage on the platform
- 5 minutes to post on stories
With this structure in place, I’ve been able to control how to make my time on Instagram more efficient while making sure I get important tasks done.
Change #4: Taking full weekends off social media
I’ve actually done this ever since coming back from my social media detox in late July. I love having full days where I don’t check social media at all — neither for my work-related accounts nor even my personal account.
It’s given me space to unplug completely, clear my head, reconnect with myself, and overall, be more present. It also somehow gives me a healthy view of social media as just “work” during the week. And it certainly has made me feel more in control, especially when I get little weekend impulses where my brain goes, “Hey, let’s check on those comments from Friday’s post!” When that happens, I simply wait to check on them when I’m back to work on Monday. Just like checking emails or any other work task.
I used to fall into the trap of checking messages, replying to DMs, and getting all caught up in work-related stuff during the weekend. But you know what? I don’t do that anymore. I’ve realized that by protecting my time away from social media, it helps me show up as fully rested for myself, my family, and my community when it’s time to come back to work on Monday.
Change #5: Being more selective about the content I view on my feed
This mostly meant that I do an overhaul and unfollow the accounts I don’t want to consume anymore. But I didn’t stop there.
I started muting accounts too, even accounts I genuinely love and that inspires me. Now, don’t get me wrong, I still love their content. But sometimes their content can make me feel like personally, I’m not doing enough. By muting them, I can still check their content when I’m in the mood for that extra boost, but only when I choose.
It’s put me back in control of what I consume, rather than the algorithm telling me what to consume. Overall, it’s allowed me to curate a feed that keeps me positive without any unnecessary distractions or feelings of inadequacy.
Change #6: Using more automation
Here’s the thing: interacting with you in the comments and on DMs is so rewarding and it’s one of my favorite parts about the Small Biz Babes Community!
But let’s face it, as you know, engaging on social media is also time-consuming. When it came to setting more boundaries with social media during my detox, I wanted to find a way to communicate with you that still feels personal but is also more efficient, protects my time spent on the platform, and gives me more freedom to unplug for the weekend.
That’s why I started using an Instagram automation system more, and I absolutely love it! The specific tool I’ve been using is called ManyChat. I’ll link the free trial for the pro version if you’d like to give it a try. There’s also an entirely free version, but as a heads up, it’s limited to around 1000 contacts only.
You might have noticed that sometimes, not only me but other creators too, will ask you to send a specific word to their DMs if you want to learn more about what we’re promoting instead of saying “Check out the link in bio.”
The cool part is, if you drop that magic word, we’ll send you the link right to your DMs! And thanks to this automation, you can customize the message you send in the DM so it’s not robotic. It’s truly you, taking care of leads coming in from Instagram. This means they’ll receive the link even while you’re busy with other aspects of your business or spending quality time with your family. No more manual responses!
And I have to say, the response has been amazing! I’ve gotten feedback that it’s such a cool messaging approach. And on the backend, I can see all the data — click-through rates, engagement, you name it!
Honestly, it’s been one of the best investments I’ve made this year. It saves me time, but it also directly impacts my revenue by delivering links to people when they’re most interested, even when I’m not available. And we all know that with social media, a quicker response usually means a greater chance of making a sale.
If you’re thinking about taking a break from social media, that means you probably need one
I say — DO IT! This detox was a transformative few weeks for me and I know it will have lasting effects for years. And it’s something I truly believe we need to talk about and even encourage more in the online business world.
There’s so much pressure online that often makes us feel like we need to have it all together — our business, our life, our self-care, being consistent all the time with everything. But in reality, we’re all humans. We can’t operate like machines at this capacity.
Yes, sure, if you reach that stage where you have a full team and systems in place, your business can run more smoothly when you step away — which is awesome.
But while we’re on the journey to getting there, we may only have a small team for specific parts of our business, or no team at all. Either way, you’re juggling what you can, the best you can, every single day. You need to give yourself credit for that and realize how much you’re actually doing. So if you’ve been consistent on social media for a little while, that means you’re doing the hard work of showing up. You’re making sacrifices so you can achieve business goals for yourself and your family. So if you feel like you need to take that break, take it — you deserve it.
Want insights on how a 3-week social media detox completely changed my life and inspiration on how to take your own? Tune in to today’s podcast episode here 🎧.