… so you can find more time and focus to do those things that make your soul happy.
My recent wake up call was when I realized I was thinking of skipping art studio time so I could have the time for social media marketing. That just made no sense. If you are feeling frazzled and working up till bedtime with no Sundays off like I was, some of these ideas might be for you.
*At least half of these tips are based on Cal Newport’s book “Digital Minimalism”. It is a fabulous guide to making your digital media work for you and not the other way around.
Some things to try…
Turn off all notifications on all handheld devices (and maybe eve a few on the laptop?).
Why? Because when that darn app or device pings, what do you do? You “take care of it” even if you don’t REALLY need to or don’t need to right then.
Use the “do not disturb” feature on your phone to create quite time outside of your designated “work” hours.
Do you need to be available to the general public more than 9am - 5p? For those nearest and dearest, you can create the exception of letting designated favorites call through… like maybe your mom, kids or spouse.
If you can’t stand the thought of this on a regular basis, consider using “Do Not Disturb” or even airplane mode for concentration time only.
Turn off the colors on your phone and watch.
Sounds a little crazy, but it totally works. Think about your reaction to the little red bubbles that signal a new message or comment. When you see them as gray, they don’t suck you in. You can then view your apps on your schedule, not the app’s schedule.
Take social media off of your portable devices.
Again, sounds odd, but the friction of having to use your laptop or desktop instead really cuts down the time spent checking all of your social media. With this step alone, I’ve cut down to checking FB and IG only 1x/day.
This can be a great way to keep social media if you still need it for your business.
Post to social media via a third party app, like Buffer or Tailwind.
For small entrepreneurs, this can be an efficient way to get in and get the job of marketing done, without going down a rabbit hole of postings.
Curate your FB feed
No. You don’t have to unlike your friends (unless you want to). However, you can choose to unfollow their posting feeds… and just periodically check out their timelines when you would like to get caught up on your own schedule.
Keep your daily to do list simple.
On a challenge, I set a limit of 15 to do’s per day. I was pretty resistant to trying it, but it is totally working for me. The limit really forces me to think about whether something truly needs doing or whether it truly needs to be done by me.
It helps you pause more. When you pause, you can better determine if something is truly important to do or do by you. 3 minutes a day is all that is needed. The Insight Meditation app is a great free way to get started. My favorite time is right after lunch. It keeps me calm throughout the afternoon.
Unsubscribe or sort your email inbox.
Move emails within Gmail to their proper categories so you don’t get triggered into looking at newsletters and such that you might prefer to only review on Sunday mornings.
I enjoy doing this in larger chunks… on the lounge chair outside… with a glass of wine. It becomes a process I look forward to instead of dreading. Others may better appreciate tackling this in small 10 - 15 min/day segments.
Turn on the “I’m driving right now” feature on your phone.
Even if you don’t pick up your phone and text or take calls while driving… just getting that ring tone or ping can totally highjack your brain. I so love taking a little me time to drive while listening to loud music with the sunroof open. Now I can… uninterrupted. ;-)
What I might like to try to simplify further (but need to work up to)…
I’d maybe like to get something like the Freedom app to block me from the internet on Sundays. I really want to start having Sundays off again.
Hope you found this helpful! — R.B.
P.S. Please let me know in the comments if you have any other similar suggestions. I’m definitely a "work in progress” with regards to simplifying and enjoy learning more.