I recently went on a family vacation for 10 days during which time I had very limited internet access. Initially, that thought scared me.
As a small business owner, I am very used to staying in constant touch with my staff and patients. In addition, my social media presence requires constant and consistent posting. What my engagement drop if I was off the grid for over a week? What matter of calamity could befall the office in my absence? And, I’m currently in the middle of launching two new businesses (Aryana Clothing and Pinnacle Conference), it was absolutely the worst time to go dark, would my absence cause a major setback?
But, guess what? Nothing happened. That’s right. Nothing. No frantic phone calls or texts or emails were received once I was in cell phone reception range. I have an amazing team and office manager. I trusted them to do their jobs and they handled all issues that arose.
I have a hard time remaining in the moment, like many of you probably do. Even on vacation, I impose an unhealthy expectation on myself to immediately return texts and emails, pertaining to work. But, in truth, I had limited internet, and nothing fell apart in my absence. This sabbatical from email, texts and social media allowed me to truly enjoy some quality time with my family and experience the actual moments, instead of just documenting them.
My Instagram followers were still there when I returned and my engagement was (dare I say) even better after my hiatus. I felt refreshed and rejuvenated and better able to produce new content for my social media channels.
I felt completely liberated by the experience. It was freeing to leave my phone in my cabin and not have to take it anywhere, not have to check it incessantly. So, here are some tips for disconnecting:
Clean out email inbox, return all your phone calls, take care of all of the paperwork that you need to. I will budget an extra 6-8 hours on the day before my vacation to attend to all of these items on my To Do list. That way I don’t worry that I’m missing something vitally important when I’m off line.
2. Realize there will be a withdrawal period
You honestly don’t realize how much you fill those little moments of time with your phone. You know – standing in line at the cafe, waiting for the elevator. It took me two days to stop reaching for my phone. And guess what? Instead, I talked with my kids. Struck up conversations with strangers in line. It was wonderful.
3. Download all your books onto your Kindle at port (if you’re on a cruise).
Or bring real books~
Like with a pen and paper. Yeah, I know. So crazy. But, there’s something about the act of committing pen to paper. There’s an intentionality there that supersedes typing on a device.
Have you tried being off line for a length of time? Was it harder or easier than you imagined?