September's Slow Business Experiment: A Recap of 30 min IG time!

September has come and gone, and honestly, it’s brought a lot of changes. By the time I realized it was October already and we were supposed to start the second #slowbusinessexperiment, the first week of October was almost over. And that in and of itself is a testament to how profound of an effect the first experiment had on my life.

Because, you see, somehow the 30 minutes per day on Instagram turned into an exercise of Essentialism - something I will talk about here at some point in the future - which in turn led to a decision I’d been pondering for a while: Hitting pause on my coaching. Or, at least, hitting pause on proactively talking about my coaching and doing my monthly Patreon videos.

Before we dive deeper into that, though, let’s backtrack a little bit and take a look at September and how I felt doing the 30 minutes a day on Instagram experiment.

Day 1:

  • I feel relieved at not having to think about how much time I'll be spending on IG.

  • I’m excited to be more intentional about my time there!

  • iOS 12 Screen Time (the feature I’ve been using to manage my time on Instagram) works well.

Day 7:

  • I find it easier to listen to my own voice because I don't compare myself that much.

  • I find it easier to keep a distance to some parts of my business (pressure to keep the coaching going, the results of a shop update) - I think because I don't need to always reflect on it publicly and perform my business results.

  • No more mindlessly scrolling on weekend mornings makes me feel more alive.

  • Business effects: The shop update went well, better than the last ones, and I wasn't as stressed about it.

Somewhere between Day 10 and Day 20:

“I have the inclination to fill the space I created. Which kind of defeats the purpose of making space in the first place. It’s okay to keep that space open. I did too much, and now I’m doing less, and it feels weird, but throwing more stuff at that hole that I created is only going to get me back to square one. What’s the new normal? How do I define it? How do I let go of the guilt of “not doing enough” when “doing enough” clearly made me miserable?”

Day 30+X:

  • 30 minutes per day feels like a long time. Which is funny because at the beginning it felt like so little time, and yet now I find myself mindlessly scrolling again to fill the 30 minutes.

  • Oh! I could have actually turned off the timer about a week ago. I didn’t even think about that.

So, you see…

While it felt a little bit weird at first, I adjusted super fast to the 30 minutes maximum and I loved it. LOVED. It’s brought me my brain back. It’s brought my creativity back and it hasn’t had a single negative side effect on my business, as far as I can tell.

I’d even bring up the risqué hypothesis that BECAUSE I’ve been more intentional of how I’ve been using Instagram, in particular Instagram Stories, it might have had a positive effect. Say what?

On a much deeper level, this first Slow Business Experiment has led to a profound change of how I’m thinking about my businesses and what I’m actually doing. Not being able to numb myself through mindless scrolling and actually having the calmness to confront some of the questions that have been in the back of my mind for a few months were effects that I didn’t anticipate. At all.

All of a sudden, the nagging feeling that I had to cut down significantly in what I was doing and focus on a few core aspects of the multiple businesses I was running, wasn’t daunting anymore - it was exciting. It felt as if a fog had lifted, as if there was clarity where before there was just noise and clutter and comparison. I knew that I didn’t want to do the Patreon anymore. I knew that I didn’t want to acquire new coaching clients unless I was really, really excited to be working with them.

I knew that I first and foremost wanted to do two things with my time: Work on Making Stories and work on HLH Designs.

And that decision felt so natural, so obvious, so calm and gentle, that I haven’t doubted it for a single second.

While I’m not saying that you might find a profound realization when you cut down on your Instagram time, I do think that there’s something to reducing the clutter we feed our brain with, reducing the amount of comparisons we make every day through these tiny squares, and increasing the intention behind it, that can have wide-reaching effects on other aspects of our life.

I for one am very glad to have embarked on this first #slowbusinessexperiment, and I hope you are too. Would you want to share how it’s been going for you? I’d love to hear!