The National Day Of Unplugging. An Important Day For Small Business Digital Health.

Chris Waterhouse

Founder - Waterhouse Web
Created / Edited: 4.3.2021

There is only so much screen time a team can handle. Its time to give your small business a quick break and enjoy the benefits.

We don’t know about you but throughout this pandemic, we’ve found it incredibly difficult to disconnect from our screens because they’ve been our portal to the world that we aren’t allowed to traverse! Those screens have housed our work colleagues, our families, our entertainment, our news, and everything in between as we have navigated the strange waters of these unprecedented times.

As time as gone on, we’ve all experienced a level of fatigue and dread that comes with constantly being connected via devices, rather than through social interaction. It’s just not the same as being in a physical space together. It cheapens the experience and isolates us even further. It opens us up to the whims of social media, the drama of the news, and the opinions of the controversial. It detaches us from reality.

This all starts to wear on you after a while. We can’t keep going like this. We need a reset.

The National Day of Unplugging

The National Day of Unplugging is a much-needed awareness campaign that challenges individuals and businesses to fully unplug from their technology for 24 hours during the first weekend in March (5th-6th). What started as a collaboration between a number of digital wellness advocates who recognized the dangerous precedent we were setting has now become a global event that encourages all of us to change course.

Anyone and everyone can heed the call and join the movement – so we’re calling on you to make the pledge for you and your business.

The objective is to go back to basics and spend some time reconnecting with loved ones, celebrating the magic of human connection rather than digital engagement. We could all use a bit of space, a glimpse of clarity, a spot of boredom, and a long conversation with an actual human being.

Why is it important for Small Business Owners?

If you’ve been running a small business over the past 12 months, then we don’t need to tell you how stressful things have been. We’ve all had to go into pure survival mode, and this has brought with it a need to be constantly connected and on the ball. When you are tethered to your devices at all times, constantly at the whims of a range of digital distractions, you don’t get the opportunity to tackle any deep work or any strategic thinking that requires uninterrupted time.

Taking advantage of this day of unplugging can give you the much-needed space to regroup, clear your mind, and think more clearly about your business and where it is going. This can help you identify those problems you’ve been ignoring in your business, or to spot those opportunities to take things to the next level.

From a personal perspective, this can be of great value as well. Running a small business is all-consuming and often our families can carry the brunt of the sacrifice on our behalf. A day like this provides a great opportunity to reconnect with loved ones and show your gratitude for all that they’ve been through in recent times. Take the chance to spend some quality time with your partner and/or your children – it really is food for the soul. And it will give you some perspective on why you’re building the business you are pouring your heart and soul into. These moments of clarity are rare, so take it with both hands. Your future self will thank you for it.

Why is it important for your Staff?

It’s also very important when it comes to your staff. With remote working becoming the norm, traditional working hours have been thrown out the window for the most part, and instead staff have tended to work longer and longer – burning the candles at both ends. The social pressure to be online all the time combined with additional family responsibilities arising from having children in lockdown has made the last year a really tough one for all. You can help your staff unplug by fully embracing a day like this and give them the permission and the freedom to breathe and reconnect with all those things that have been sacrificed in recent months. By encouraging them to get away from their technology, they can spend that time relaxing and recharging so they can come back that much stronger, not just from a work perspective, but from a health perspective.

Your people are the most important component of your business and you want them to be as healthy and as vibrant as possible. You also want to show them that you care about them as human beings as well. We could all use some respite from the chaos.

Putting it into Action

The National Day of Unplugging happens on the first week of March, the 5th and 6th specifically. If you’re up for the challenge, why not take it on as an organization? You can be the driving force behind a few brief moments of respite from the screens that dominate our lives. Here are some action steps to get the ball rolling

  1. Jump on a call with your team and tell them all about it, especially about the benefits of getting away from technology for a bit.
  2. Brainstorm some ideas with your staff as to how they are going to spend that time. What meaningful activities could they engage in to make the most of the day?
  3. Ensure that no meetings or anything are scheduled during that time. Cancel it all! Institute a no-email policy during that time, with some creative forfeits if someone decides to jump online.
  4. Do a group toast just moments before sundown on March 5th with your beverage of choice and then remain fully unplugged until sundown on March 6th.

That’s all there is to it! A wonderfully simple initiative but one that could truly transform your organization. We’re willing to bet that you’re going to discover a lot about yourself and your staff if you embrace the idea. Are you up for the challenge?

Breathing room awaits! See you on the other side.