Have you ever heard of the Baader-Meinhof phenomenon? It’s that feeling that you see/hear something new, then it shows up evvvvvverywhere.
That’s what’s been going on for me this summer. I decided to take a month without social media, which I then stretched into a summer-long social media hiatus. Internally I channeled my inner Aaron Burr & called it my “talk less, smile more” summer because I gave myself permission to put down my phone and spend time outside:
Once I declared that intention, suggestions about “digital detoxing” and “doing less better” started showing up all over the place.
And since that email about my social hiatus had tons of replies, I wanted to share those resources with you, in case you need permission to take a break:
- [PODCAST] Building a Storybrand Podcast: Cal Newport—How to Digitally Declutter Your Life — a few of you wrote back to that email and told you that you’d just heard this podcast, and it’s marvelous. In his new book about Digital Minimalism, Cal encourages readers to take a full month off social to reset their brains’ needs for constant stimulation.
I haven’t read his new book, but I loved Deep Work. Or at least, I loved the first 2/3 of Deep Work …. then I got distracted and never finished it. The irony of not being able to focus long enough to finish a book about focusing is not lost on me.
- [BOOK] Bored and Brilliant: How Spacing Out Can Unlock Your Most Productive and Creative Self — on a summer roadtrip I binged the entirety of the Zig Zag podcast — I mean, a podcast about “changing the course of capitalism, journalism, and women’s lives”? Sign me up!.
When that was done, I downloaded the co-founder Manoosh’s book to my Kindle. (And no, the irony of downloading a book about being bored to a digital device isn’t lost on me, either.)
If a month of digital detox seems like too much, this book has ideas about how to gently soften your phone/social media addiction, without needing to cut yourself off from the world indefinitely.
- [VIDEO] Don’t have time for the whole Bored & Brilliant book? The thesis is covered in Manoush’s TED Talk:
- [PODCAST] The Gutsy Boss: Doing Less to Do More — those first two recommendations are a bit more generic, not totally focused on how stepping away from interacting with your audience can impact you as an entrepreneur. So I loved this conversation between Becky Mollenkamp and Hailey Dale about how we feel obligated to consistently create new content on our blogs and push it out to our social channels … but if we walk away for a bit, nobody will notice.
And a quick break can give you time to promote older content that may have been missed the first time around … and might even give you renewed energy to write and create from a place of joy instead of obligation.
And once I committed to taking a step away from social media (not deleting my accounts or anything crazy, just spending less time there), my creativity skyrocketed. I spent the summer filling myself up and allowing my ideas to percolate, and now I have enough to share with you.
So if you can? Give yourself the weekend off from your business &/or your phone, as much as you’re willing and able. It might make you feel anxious at first to leave the phone in a different room, but it might eventually feel a little bit liberating.