Social media can be an invaluable resource when you run a business; it offers a direct line of communication with your target audience, among many other benefits. That being said, the social rat race can wear on you after a while. And if you’re not careful, it can actually cause a major backslide in multiple areas of your business.
Don’t get me wrong — I love social media, and regularly preach its benefits for businesses. But it needs to be approached it in such a way that allows you to take a break when you need to. Let’s take a look at some reasons why taking a break from social media might be a good idea, and how you can do it without disrupting your business.
Gain New Perspective
Just like with a regular vacation, taking time off from social media gives you the time to develop a new perspective on your business goals. It also helps you to regroup and re-strategize your approach to social. When you’re caught up in the day-to-day slog, it’s really difficult to take the time to come up with a better way of doing things.
While on a social media break, you’ll find your mind drifting toward your big picture approach to business. It’s not something you have to plan; if you’re passionate about your company, it will happen whether you want it to or not.
You’ll be able to more easily identify areas of your social strategy that could use improvement and refinement. You’ll identify redundancies and find ways to be more efficient. If you sat down and tried to accomplish this while mired in your regular social workflow, the results would be subpar at best. Distance gives you perspective, and all good business owners need a break, sometimes, in order to move forward.
As counterintuitive as it might sound, taking breaks is actually conducive to improved workflow. Whether that break lasts 15 minutes or several weeks, the fact is that taking breaks helps to improve focus and gives your mind and body the time it needs to rest and recuperate. As much as business owners try to act like it, we’re not robots. We need breaks. The constant go, go, go that an active social media presence can require can wear down your creativity and even fuel burnout. And that’s when your productivity plummets.
So, take breaks when you need them. And when you come back to your desk (or smartphone) you’ll find you work faster and with greater accuracy.
It’s Good for You
Whether you’re a business owner or a social media marketer, we all need breaks to regain energy and motivation. We all want our businesses to be successful; many think that means pulling frequent all-nighters to get more work done. That’s okay every once in a while, but shouldn’t be your long-term schedule. You only stand to exhaust and stress yourself until you run headlong into a wall called burnout. For my personal insights and experiences relating to stress and entrepreneurship, read my article, “How to reduce stress as an entrepreneur.”
If you find that you’re frequently dealing with fatigue, sore muscles and body aches, and an inability to concentrate, take a break from your social media life — or maybe even your business itself. Remember: a break is something that happens on your terms. You can control its parameters and can put everything in order before you leave. Burnout doesn’t offer you this luxury, and can knock you off course with little warning. Besides burnout, there are lots of other things that I commonly see preventing people from reaching their goals.
3 Steps to Taking Time Off
You can approach your break from social media much as you would taking a break from your business as a whole. It requires some planning, but it’s totally doable and — I believe — necessary for the long-term success of any company.
1. Plan Ahead
Think of it like a vacation just from social media, and not your entire business. If you were going to take a vacation, you’d need to plan ahead and make sure all of your ducks were in a row before you hopped on a plane. You need to do the same when you don’t plan on checking in on social media every day. It’s a good idea to start developing your temporary exit strategy at least a month ahead of time. This will give you plenty of time to make sure you don’t miss any important details.
2. Schedule Your Presence
You’re taking a break from checking and posting on social media every day, but that doesn’t mean you can’t schedule a few posts to appear in your absence. This will keep your social presence active while you’re gone without you having to manually do anything during that time. The only drawback is you have to write all those posts in advance, which means doubling up on work before you get to take that break. But if maintaining a presence is important to you, the promise of the impending time off will be all the motivation you need to step it up.
3. Share Your Break
This might sound counterintuitive at first, but sharing your intention to take a break on social media can actually be helpful to your business, because it humanizes it. Most of the time, your followers will respect you for it. Plus, you get the bonus opportunity of getting to share all you’ve learned during your time away when you get back to it. It’s a win all around.
Social media is a way of life for many people across every industry. But taking a break can facilitate greater productivity and improved results in the long-term.