Member Update: Going Small

4 minute read

When it comes to unplugging, I’m a big fan of going big. Taking a week-long break from work, social media, the news, and screen time can be truly restorative.

But, depending on your circumstances, a week-long break might take some planning… and it might be something that when you do plan it, it’s a ways out into the future… and it might also be something you can’t do all that often.

Which is why I’m also a big fan of going small.

Making a small effort to unplug regularly — even just for a short amount of time — can help you stay centered and grounded, can keep you from getting overwhelmed or burned out, and can reduce stress and increase creativity.

But what does going small look like?

Well, it’ll be different for every person, but here are some ideas for unplugging in small ways.

Walk Early… and Leave Your Phone

I’ve been starting every day with a walk since the month of July began. I leave my phone behind and let my mind wander. I take in nature — the blue of the sky, the wind in the trees, the scent of my neighbor’s roses, the warmth of the sun. I think about what I want to get done during the day. I think about the story I’m writing. I think about the things I’m grateful for and the hopes I have for the people I love.

It’s about 20 minutes each day, and it is so nice to have that time with zero interruptions or distractions.

Go for a Picnic in the Park

You don’t have to go far from home. Any old green space will do. But again… leave the phone and the laptop behind. Spread a blanket on the grass. Indulge in some foods you love but don’t splurge on that often. Invite someone whose conversation you enjoy… and then enjoy yourself.

Again, take in your surroundings. The trees. The people playing or relaxing. The sun and the sky and the clouds. Check in with all your senses.

Take a Four-Day Weekend

This is something I try to do twice a quarter. I’m not perfect about it by any means. And I don’t unplug for the entire weekend. But I do take the time off work. And I do schedule an activity during the day that doesn’t involve being online or looking at a screen.

My most recent four-day weekend, I went on three different hikes, and then on the fourth day, visited an old mining town with my husband.

Here’s what I know… getting away and being unplugged for the better part of four days makes a big difference. I still notice the difference weeks later in how calm I am, even under a deadline or dealing with the unexpected.

Too often, I make excuses not to take those weekends — I’m too busy or the timing just isn’t right — but when I make a point to take them even when I feel like I can’t squeeze them in, I always end up better off in terms of time management and productivity.

Start thinking about small ways you can unplug regularly. If you can, bring nature into it. But reading a book, napping, doing a puzzle, visiting a museum… these are all great ways to unplug. Next, make a commitment to start spending some deliberate time away from your computer, your smartphone, and your work.

I’m willing to bet you’ll see a big difference when you do.

In Case You Missed It…

If you work with your clients on Facebook ad campaigns, then you’ll want to give our latest PPC & Advertising column a read. In it, Zoe Blarowski walks you through key considerations to make when choosing a photo to accompany your ad. Even if you’re not selecting photos, understanding this crucial element is important for your work on ad campaigns. You can see Zoe’s suggestions here.

Do you ever feel overwhelmed by the sheer amount of information available to you? Well, you’re not alone. Lots of writers struggle to sift through and make sense of all the information that comes their way. That’s why I think you’ll find our latest Trends & Technology post from Jen Phillips April to be so useful. Inside, she shares how to create a Personal Knowledge Management system that will combat overwhelm and help you put all the information to good use.

As a digital copywriter, there will be times when you find yourself extra busy with client projects. Balancing that increased workload with all the other things going on in your life can be tough. But it’s less tough when you adopt a healthy mindset. In her most recent Reality Blog, Suzanna Fitzgerald shows you how to do that.

Coming Up on Digital Copywriter

On July 28, Pam Foster, AWAI’s Director of Copywriting Training, will be joining us for an interview. During our discussion, we’ll be talking about the opportunities Pam is most excited to see new writers taking advantage of and looking at some of the decisions Pam made earlier in her career that helped to propel her forward. I hope you’ll join us.

Also, coming up, my next column on UX/CX Copywriting looks at the power of figuring out what you need to say before you start writing. And of course, I give you plenty of techniques for zeroing on the most important things to include in your copy. That will be published Monday.

Then the following week, you’ll be hearing from Michele Peterson on five things you’ll want to know before you break ground on any email writing project.

Plus, our upcoming Challenge will go live next week, so keep an eye out for that!

Three Things You Might Enjoy…

This post on the Content Marketing Institute explores how companies are doing more with less… and whether or not they are delivering a better customer experience as a result.

Ever wondered what the heck a long-tail keyword is and how to find one? SEMRush answers those questions here.

Case studies are a great project to have in your toolbox, and this article from Marketing Profs will help you brush up on the best ways to make sure your case studies are landing with your audience.

That’s all for now. Enjoy your weekend!