It’s 47 degrees in the shade and I’ve been awake since 5am fishing with my unexpectedly angling obsessed daughter. I’ve also taken my three-year-old swimming twice, all the while allaying his fears that Santa won’t find us in the ‘holiday caravan’, and had an in-depth discussion with my teenager about the responsibility of assimilation in Australian culture.
We’ve now been driving for 2 ½ hours in flat, scrubby country with the ocean teasing out from behind the dunes and the big, blue sky almost too huge to believe. According to my phone, this expansive view comes with exactly no reception.
In fact, I’ve been disconnected for around 80% of this trip so far.
Had I not experienced the restorative effects (both personally and for my business) of being disconnected from the internet in the past, I would probably be panicking right about now.
As it happens, this time I have a spot of connectivity back at the caravan and don’t worry, I am making extraordinarily good use of it.
But apart from a quick evening session to check in and upload content, I am *gasp* disconnected.
It can be worrying to be unplugged from your business for any stretch of time, especially if your marketing relies on being online. However, here are some tried and true tips for putting this time to good use while maintaining your online presence.
Plan and Automate
Being disconnected from the online part of your business doesn’t have to mean you aren’t visible online. Although business may close up shop or slow down over the summer period, social media gets a boost with people spending more of their downtime online.
If you can manage to spend a couple of hours in the lead up to your time out automating your social media, your online worlds will keep ticking over even when you’re hollering at the kids not to lean quite so far over the cliff face to photograph a shark. Blog posts on your website, Facebook daily posts, paid advertising, and other online hotspots can either be totally or partially automated. You’ll be able to keep up your conversation with your clients and customers online without picking up your phone.
Get Old School
If writing of any description is part of the way you market online, just check how much more productive you will be without working on your laptop.
Yes, paper and pen.
Get your next quarter plan scribbled out. Write your next six months of blog posts. Map out some social media interaction for the upcoming season.
Without the distraction of all the flickering fluff happening on your computer, you’ll whizz through tasks faster than you could have imagined.
Breathe It In
Everyone needs a chance to breathe out the hard work of the preceding year and to breathe in the good stuff. Small business people are particularly renowned for eating, sleeping and breathing their business. But our families need us to connect with them too.
From a self-confessed social media addict, disconnecting from your online self, even if only for a couple of days, will seriously enable the reconnection to the reason many of us do what we do – our family.
For me, this is undoubtedly the most rewarding aspect of the unplugging, even if my two big kids tend to take the complete mick out of every landmark visit by verbally beginning a blog article in a falsetto voice, complete with “This is Jay Crisp Crow for Crisp Crow Communications” and elbowing each other in mirth.
The other experience to look forward to is the actual excitement about putting into plan everything you’ve thought of for your business when you get back to it. All those tinglingly good ideas that have had a chance to marinate in a mind not completely overwhelmed with daily business tasks, that’s a nice anticipation.
For now, wish you were here.
(P.S. Santa does find you in your holiday caravan. Phew!)
This blog originally appeared in the Swan Magazine and has been reproduced with their kind permission.
Jay Crisp Crow
Yep, really my name