*note: this blog post is not yet edited by our copywriting team.
Yo girl! Did you have an awesome weekend and break from your biz? I know I did! If you already read my instagram post, you know I just got back from a full three day tech detox. It was magical.
A tech detox is basically a business shut down. It's something I do every couple of weeks to reset my brain and heal some of the overwhelm and burnout that starts to creep into my business mindset.
Whenever I am feeling uninspired, creatively exhausted, or overwhelmed without a focus; I know a tech detox is the perfect medicine to getting back to my most aligned high vibe self.
This past week I was on the edge of burn out and it felt like the perfect time to disconnect.
After all, "What would your life look like if you didn't have a business on social media?"
If you don't know the answer to this question, I would definitely recommend marking your calendars for your own personal tech detox.
So this past weekend, in an effort to connect more deeply to my own personal answer of that question, I removed all my social media apps and spent three full days living my life.
(that part made me sad though)
I have been working non-stop lately at Lauren of Love. Amazing things are happening over here, and with all the business magic and excitement over our company's growth, I found myself letting down my work boundaries and spending WAY more time on social media than what I would consider to be healthy.
I'll be honest; finding the work life balance is something I am still trying to master. There are times where I find myself scrolling to numb, scrolling because I am bored or using it to make myself feel better when I am sad (NOT good reasons to use social media.)
But.... I'm a flawed human who is still improving.
My current schedule (while it changes with the seasons) I work Monday through Thursday. I wake up at 6am and spend time to myself for three hours, and then start my work day at 9am.
I shut down around 5 or 6 pm to spend time with my husband, Matt, and our two fur babies (soon to be three.)
USUALLY I do this........usually.
Lately Though? Lately, I have been pushing closer and closer into crazy workaholic mode.
It kind of creeps up on me, ya know? One day I decide to start work 15 minutes earlier... and then before I know it, I'm waking up at 6AM and plopping myself in front of my desk with a cup of foursigmatic without even brushing my hair for the day.
I'll start sitting at my desk a little bit early one day... and the next.. and the next...
I'll skip my meditation one morning and then the next and the next.....
I'll stay late a day or two and work early the next day, and then suddenly I find myself working 10 hours a day asking, "How the F did that happen?" (like I don't actually know the answer to that question)
It happens. #permissiontobehuman
A lot of business owners have fear around taking breaks and disconnecting from social media. Let's face it, we worked hard to grow our audience and taking a break from honoring and serving our following can feel super scary. "What if people get annoyed?" or "What if I lose my customers?" or "what if I miss a sale!"
So my first step in a tech detox is to always to make detoxing feel safe. I ask myself this one question:
"What has to happen in order for me to feel safe disconnecting from social media?"
Depending on what's going on in my business, the answer to this question is always different. But for me this time around:
1. Let my audience know I am disconnecting (this was a Facebook post in the Lauren of Love Facebook group, a few instagram stories and a reference in my most recent Facebook Feed post) I let my audience know why I am disconnecting and most importantly, when I will be back.
2. Remove social media apps from my phone. I have such a bad habit of opening my phone to check the time and somehow magically ending up in the Instagram app. It's crazy, but it's almost as if I don't even realize I am doing it! Temporarily removing social media apps from your cell phone definitely helps ease this process and makes you less likely to break your promise to yourself. If you don't want to go through the hassle of removing the apps, you can also drag the apps to a different hidden folder on your phone so you won't see them. I label my social media folder "DO NOT OPEN" and I put it on the very last screen of my phone so I can only see it if I swipe to the right five times.
3. Have things to do to replace your social media habit. Before I detox, I make a list of all the things I could do during my free time. And make sure they are FUN. You'd be surprised how much time you have to yourself when social media isn't in the picture. This round of my detox, I got a lot of chores done, but I also put a lot of fun things on my list of things to do during my break. Honoring my relationship with Matt was really important to me this weekend and I was glad I had space for it and was intentional about our time together. (He was also really happy about it too.)
4. Have RULES for your detox. During my tech detox, this round, I decided to allow myself the luxury of watching television, listening to podcast episodes and taking photographs. Sometimes, I will have a tech detox that does not allow for those activities. Be specific in your rules, and remember there is no wrong or right rule.
I won't go into ALL the details, because we would be here forever if I did (I learned SOO many things you guys.) But here are some big takeaways and lessons I can share with you.
1. Take pleasure in the small things. Even the chores. It really brought my so much joy to spend time nesting in my home. Doing the laundry, cleaning the dishes and reorganizing the kitchen really lit me up. It might sound crazy to you, but being able to spend one day taking care of the home and tending to the day to day responsibilities of life really did feel good. I think often as an entrepreneur running a multi-million dollar business, I feel the pressure to live this luxury lifestyle that is so expected and publicly broadcast on social media....but if it means having to get someone else to do my laundry; I am not entirely sure I want that. (note: we do have a cleaning lady who comes to the house once a month for a deep clean.) This weekend I folded laundry while I watched modern family with Matt and I did the dishes listening to some beautiful podcast episodes I have been dying to listen to. I got to organize my kitchen and it felt like I was HOME in that space for the first time in a long time. When I have social media running, lets face it - all these chores can feel like distractions from the business and an inconvenience. But when I was in this social media free zone, I actually enjoyed those activities.
2. Intentional Consumption is way more effective than multitasking. My firm belief is that there is no such thing as multitasking. You can bounce from one thing to the next thing to the next thing, but ultimately, you cannot do two things at once. I cannot listen to my husband while I am responding to a client on DM. I cannot watch a movie when I am reading comments on my latest instagram post. I Cannot listen to my audio book or podcast episode when I am answering comments in our Lauren of Love Fb Group. My life was SOOO different when I actually was present in the activity I was doing and focused on one thing at a time. That applies to my personal life and business life: When I am focused on one activity in business, I tend to perform better in my craft than when I am trying to do a million things at once.
3. Brilliant Ideas feel safe to come through in the silence. I cannot stress this enough: My creativity THRIVES when I take time off. Over and over again this shows me to be true. The more I really surrender to the silence, the more I get the amazing million dollar ideas. Taking a break from social media gives me that disconnect I need to channel all the brilliant downloads. All weekend I walked around with a notebook and pen because they could not stop coming! Creative energy needs rest and quiet.
4. I am a human first, and a business owner second. I have a deep abiding love for nature and gardening, but I often put that passion on the sidelines because I am working hard to grow the business. This weekend, getting my hands dirty. Tending to our garden, I nearly cried with gratitude. Gardening gives me feelings of creativity and nurturing in a way that our business simply cannot match. But while I love it, I often put my business hat on with hobbies I enjoy. "How can I make this a business?"
Matt used to tell me that I couldn't have a hobby because I was always trying to turn hobbies into a business venture all the damn time. After this weekend, I see how important it is to honor all of these parts of me.
Gardening is my thing: It is what I love to do as a human. And Because I am a human first and business owner second, I need to carve intentional time out for the things that light me up.
Here's a sneak peak of me in my gardening element. I'll be sharing more in a post on the blog soon.
Speaking of ideas, I have to sign off to work on a big project we are building for the Lauren of Love Membership! Are you part of our tribe? It's amazinggggggg!
Lauren Eliz Love
P.S. - Do you have limiting beliefs that stop you from taking breaks from social media? Try walking them through my limiting belief worksheet to shift your mindset forever!
P.S stay tuned through the Lauren of Love Podcast.