We love technology. We love that the internet allows entrepreneurs to achieve success like never before. And we love utilizing all of the tech at our fingertips to help others grow. That being said, it’s easy as an online entrepreneur to spend hours at a time sitting at your computer, and if you’re not intentional about your internet time, it can quickly take over more hours in the day than you would like. As a business owner, it is important for you to know when and how to step away from your computer so that you can come back refreshed and able to give your business your best!
1. Brainstorm in a physical notebook
Not only does it give your eyes a break from looking at a screen, but putting a pen to paper can help to get creativity flowing. Try writing or drawing out all of your ideas on paper, then sorting them into actionable items and giving them a timeline. Some things you may not be able to act on right away, but you can always revisit your notebook later! Taking an afternoon to clear space in your head by brainstorming on paper can often provide clarity and be refreshingly productive after long hours at the computer.
2. Put boundaries on email time
Ah yes, email. When you run a business, email can feel like a treadmill that never stops. But it doesn’t have to be that way! Try creating scheduled time in your day for checking your email and close out of it entirely between those scheduled times. If you are in the habit of checking your email throughout the day, this might be difficult at first, but try to be rigorous with your boundaries for a week and see how you feel. Ultimately, it can save you a ton of time and energy to reign in the amount of time you are spending checking and replying to emails, because it allows you to have more uninterrupted and productive work hours. If the thought of leaving emails unread for hours at a time terrifies you, start with three set email times per day (for example, 9am, 12pm, and 4pm) and see how that goes.
3. Attend in-person business events
This is a great way to move your business forward while stepping out from behind your computer! We recommend attending a networking event in your area or a conference for your industry at least a few times a year. Not only will you make invaluable connections when you meet other entrepreneurs face to face, you may feel so refreshed from spending a few hours or days away from your computer that you see a big boost in productivity when you return.
4. Implement social media free weekends
Social media free weekends are one of the easiest and most effective ways to create white space for yourself as an entrepreneur. When you run a business with an internet presence, social media becomes a business tool as well as a personal social network. This means that most of (if not all of) your time spent on social media, you have your business on the brain – scoping hashtags, comparing to your competition, engaging with likes and comments from your customers. Even if you are not posting on your business’s social accounts during the weekends, opening Instagram or Facebook can launch you in to business owner mode – just when you were about to make pancakes or relax with a cup of tea. We suggest that you try at least one weekend-long social media break and see how you like it. Instead of scrolling through Instagram, go for a walk or pick up a hobby. A little bit of white space on the weekend goes a long way toward powering your week!
Do you have any tips or suggestions for how to get away from the computer to recharge?