As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, I spent Presidents’ Day Weekend out in rural Pennsylvania with my sister and brother-in-law and 20 of their friends. We all packed into my brother-in-law’s family’s ranch in Vowinckel, PA for a few days of traipsing about in the snow, hanging out by the fire, drinking bloody marys with no regard for the hour (okay, just me?), and cooking way too much food.
Being out in the middle of nowhere obviously means that the access to wifi is limited…or non-existent, which meant that I had to unplug for a few days. Not an easy feat for someone whose side hustle relies on the internet.
HOW TO UNPLUG FOR A WEEKEND
I will add a note that I was able to post Insta stories, and I did, but my ability to actually load any social media feed or email was virtually zero. So, perhaps that’s not truly unplugging, but, hey, it’s good enough for me.
So, how does one unplug for a weekend? Perhaps you have more self control than I do, but if voluntary unplugging is your goal, I would highly suggest going somewhere where you’re forced to unplug. Where going down the street to a coffee shop with wifi isn’t an option. I’d love to say that I would successfully unplug for a weekend at home, but I know the siren call of to-do lists would lure me in.
And, if you’re unplugging because you have no alternative, then keep reading for my steps to set yourself up for a successful weekend offline.
PREPARE, PREPARE, PREPARE
If you don’t use Tailwind or Hootsuite, now’s the time. Schedule those pins, schedule those tweets, schedule those Facebook posts. You don’t want to go radio silent and lose all traffic to your site just because you’re offline.
I have mixed feelings on whether to schedule blog posts – I think if you’re only offline for a couple days, don’t worry about it. Or, if you feel similarly to me, you may decide that your blog should go silent while you’re off getting married, honeymooning, or taking a grand adventure. You likely have enough evergreen content to tide you over on social for months – and chances are not every one of your readers has read every one of your posts, so recycle them! However, if you plan on taking a week off writing and there’s something relevant that absolutely has to go live, schedule it.
Lastly, have a game plan for upcoming deadlines and set an out of office. Let people know you’re offline, but will respond to their emails when you return. If your dream client emails you, you don’t want their first impression to be that you’re unresponsive.
DON’T BRING YOUR COMPUTER
The best way to make sure you actually unplug? Don’t bring your computer. You may be able to cheat and jump on social media with just your phone, but I bet you won’t be logging into WordPress and knocking out an entire blog post or answering a slew of client emails. Without access to your work, you can’t do it.
LET GO…THE INTERNET WORLD WILL GO ON
If you’re freaking out wondering what you’re missing out on Instagram or what tweets you’re falling behind on, just relax and let go. The internet world is 24/7, you’re always going to miss something – even if you’re not unplugged. It’ll still be there with the same people, the same types of posts, and the same viral memes when you come back to it after a few days away.
HAVE A PLAN TO CATCH UP
When you return, it’s going to be crazy. You’re going to have emails to sort through, messages to respond to, and you have to get back to the regular day-to-day work. This is the time to clear your calendar of evening plans and set aside 1-2 days to work on catching up, touching base with clients and peers, and sorting out action items from your time away.
You want your partnerships and clients to realize that even when you take much-needed true time off, they can still feel confident that your work will get done and they can trust your ability to deliver on all that you’ve promised.