Time Boundaries for Online Business Owners
When you own an online business it's easy to "live" in your workspace. The same app you use to offer value, market, and sell you also use for your own entertainment. These lines become blurry, fast. It's easy to spend way more time than you want to online and the more time you spend online, the more time you'll spend comparing and hearing other people's ideas instead of cultivating your own.
When innovation and authenticity is the currency for success, this cycle becomes a detriment to your business AND your mental health. Comparison is nearly unavoidable online; it's what our brains naturally do. The more time you spend online, the more time you'll spend comparing - whether you're aware of it or not.
This creates a vicious cycle: scroll, compare, feel terrible, scroll MORE because you want to numb feeling terrible. Repeat.
It's time to break the cycle by bringing intentionality to your time online and create time boundaries.
Time boundaries are for you if:
You're always on your phone
You're uncomfortable when you aren't on your phone
You feel anxiety when you aren't on your phone
You have no fresh ideas and you feel apathetic towards your business
You feel pressured and stressed - like you're in work/downtime purgatory. You should be working but you're not and you aren't enjoying your downtime either. You aren't in either space - you're caught in the middle.
Here's why time boundaries are beneficial for you:
Time boundaries - ESPECIALLY around social media - are crucial for the most important part of your business: YOU. The health, longevity, and sustainability of your online business DEPEND on you to create time boundaries.
When you're always online, the pressure to be "on" by sharing, helping, entertaining, and giving value is A LOT - especially when you multiply those demands by 8-12 hours. You HAVE to give yourself space offline to breathe, do nothing, and NOT be consuming.
If you aren't yet willing to do this for yourself (I get it - we don't know how badly we need this until you give yourself and actual break), do it for the health of your business. When you take TRUE time off, away from the app, you create fresh ideas. You get to share from inspiration instead of depletion.
In order to create firm time boundaries, you need to bring intentionality to both your work time and your non-work time on social media. You have to shift out of being reactive.
The first step is to put your phone away and do anything else. You'll likely feel a huge rush of negative emotions. Anxiety, worry, fear, or stress. Sit with those and know that this is the hardest part. When you get through this rush of negative emotions without checking your phone you're going to feel SO much better. Do NOT force yourself or hurry yourself to feel better. This only extends your negative emotions. Just let them be there.
When you feel the shift from anxious to calm, you're going to want to decide on a plan.
Here's an example of what planning out time boundaries could look like for you:
1. NO social media until you've completed your work for the day - that looks like preparing IG or FB posts offline, pre-planning stories, writing blogs, emails, etc. Whatever you've decided needs to get done for your work day.
2. Intentional social media work time: you know why you're going on the app before you go on the app.. Write down what you're going to do. Post to your feed, make 1 reel, connect with 3 new people, etc. When you find yourself scrolling or doing something else, redirect yourself back to your plan. When you've completed your plan, hop off and put your phone away.
3. Plan your free scroll time. Decide ahead of time how long you'll scroll AND what you're going to do when you're done scrolling. Set a timer for that scroll time and when that time is up, you put your phone away and do the thing you planned. Pick something fun that you WANT to do, like taking a walk, watching a TV show, baking, painting, or reading - anything that's engaging for your brain or your body. You want this activity to feel like a break, not like a have-to.
4. If you have something you want to spontaneously share on stories, share, and then put your phone away.
Most importantly: Implement steps 1-4 completely imperfectly. Gently guide yourself back to them as needed. These are NOT rules to follow perfectly. You are not a robot. These are guideposts you can return to as needed.
If you'd like support with this process, you can schedule your free consult here.