It’s truly remarkable to think that if I would have been born 100 years ago, I probably would not have a business. And I definitely wouldn’t have an online business, because the internet and social media did not exist.
I say this to say that I am truly so grateful for social media because without it, I would not have a business. My business started because of the infinite possibilities and opportunities presented to me on social media. In fact, every business venture I’ve been on started with social media.
While social media is amazing for business owners because you’re able to get in touch with so many other humans, if you don’t establish and maintain healthy social media boundaries, social media can also be a cause of a lot of mental exhaustion, chaos, stress, and put us in a fight or flight mentality because you’re constantly consuming and staying distracted. Which then could provoke a lot of negative thought patterns, limiting beliefs and self-sabotaging behaviors like comparison, imposter syndrome, analysis paralysis, perfectionism, and the list could go on.
That being said, about a month ago, the Holy Spirit prompted me to implement one of the social media boundaries I am sharing with you in the most recent podcast episode (episode 44, to be exact), but when He prompted me to do this, I also felt Him prompt with a question that really got me thinking.
The question was…
If Jesus was physically here on Earth during the time of the internet and social media, how would He use it?
I’ve been on a journey with this and really praying into how Jesus would actually use social media, and doing my best to fully embody that.
There’s a lot that goes into this question and I’m not going to be answering it in its entirety today, but I know one of the things He would do if He were to use it would be to first establish boundaries with it.
And that’s exactly what we’re covering today.
That being said, I’ve got 10 social media boundaries that you can implement ASAP. These boundaries are going to be super helpful for your work-life balance, especially during the upcoming holiday season.
Because let’s be real. We want to be present with our families and loved ones. That’s the whole reason we want a business. We don’t want our business to put us in bondage. And truthfully, social media and our business can sometimes feel like bondage if we’re not careful.
These boundaries are going to be super effective in helping you get more work done more efficiently and effectively than before, which means you’ll be able to make more money while also being more present this holiday season.
And I should probably mention that you can absolutely implement these beyond the holiday season, but I just have a feeling they will really benefit you right now.
Let’s jump right into boundary number one.
Boundary #1 – How and when you will communicate with your clients
Boundary number one is to set when and how you will be communicating with your clients.
The first step to this will be to determine your office hours and stick to those.
And yes, you will be communicating your office hours with your clients. You need to set those expectations and those boundaries right away so they know that they are probably not going to hear from you outside of those office hours, and that is okay. That is where you have to set those expectations to where they know communication is so key here.
And with that, you need to abide by the boundaries that you set for yourself. Stick to your office hours unless, of course, something funky comes up or life happens. But for the most part, stick to your office hours, stick to your guns, stick to what you say you’re going to do, and only work inside those office hours. Just make sure you communicate that with your clients as well.
So, this is the first part of boundary one. We’ve got the when, which is when your office hours are, so set that time frame. Maybe it’s 9 am to 2 pm EST M-F, or 11 am to 4 pm EST M-F.
Once you have the when, it’s time to establish the how.
I have actually heard a lot of people you know say that they will talk to their clients through texting, or maybe it’s Instagram or Facebook.
You can choose whatever platform you want to communicate with them on, but for me, it is not texting or social media.
The reason for this is that for me, social media, like Instagram and Facebook, is a place where I am connecting with my ideal clients. That’s not a place where I am connecting with my clients.
I know that sounds kind of interesting, but hear me out.
Of course, I’m going to be connecting with my clients there. I’m reviewing their work, and I’m seeing what they’re up to. But when I say connecting, I mean like I’m more intentionally using it to find my ideal clients and to connect with my ideal clients versus having conversations with my clients.
And the reason for this is because you’ll see I like to compartmentalize and keep things separate. When I go into apps, I like to know what I’m using them for specifically. So for me, social media, like Instagram and Facebook, are places where new people are going to find me. Those are where my ideal clients are.
My clients are in Voxer, and Voxer is a messaging app. I love it. It’s what I use for all my clients. I know when I go into Voxer, I am talking with my clients as opposed to going to Instagram or Facebook.
It’s a bit chaotic for me to have all the messages from those different areas of life in one place. So, I like to use social media really specifically and intentionally for my ideal clients. Voxer specifically for my clients, and my text messaging specifically for people in my personal life. So, I know when I go to my text messages, it’s my personal life.
When I go to Voxer, it’s my clients. When I go to social media, it’s for my ideal clients.
So that being said, boundary number one, is to set when and how you communicate with your clients and stick to that. Now again, it doesn’t have to be Voxer, but I do recommend not giving your personal phone number to your clients just so you can keep work and personal life separate.
Boundary #2 – Remove social media and messaging apps from your phone when you aren’t in work hours
This is the one that I’m excited to share with you today and will probably be one of the hardest to implement.
This is actually the boundary that the Holy Spirit prompted me to implement a month ago.
I had some resistance around this, and I’ll explain that in a second. But the social media boundary that I have for you here is to remove the social media and messaging apps off your phone when you are not in your work hours. Or even if you are in your work hours, because you can still use them on your computer if you have a computer.
If you don’t, you’ll just have to re-download them on your phone. That is cool. Just remove them when they’re not in use. And when I say in use, I mean intentionally using them for what you are meant to be using them for.
For me, the Holy Spirit prompted me to just remove them from my phone at all times, and to only download them if I need to send a voice message on Instagram or post a story that I absolutely have to post.
That said though, these apps are off of my phone and they have been for a month now. This was something that was a little bit hard for me. I had a lot of resistance around this, and a big reason I had resistance around this is that I had 30-something reels and drafts saved on my Instagram.
And if you know anything about Instagram and reels, you know that if you delete the app from your phone, your reels drafts erase. They’re gone.
So, I was like, “God, are you sure about this? Are you sure? I’ve got all these reals saved. I mean, I’m going to go and save them to my phone, but with the trending sounds, I’m not going to be able to find them again.”
You know what He prompted in me after that?
He said, “This is why Instagram is keeping you in bondage. This is exactly why you’ve got to let this go.”
When He said, “Let this go,” Je didn’t mean that I have to get rid of it completely.
He just meant I needed to just take it off my phone. I’ve got to take the shackles off, because it was keeping me in bondage. I did not want to remove it because I have these drafts saved. In addition, I felt like I had to be posting stories 24/7.
That is bondage.
So, I took those shackles off and I just feel so much better. I can’t even tell you how much more clear-headed I feel, because the thing is, I’m not completely off of Instagram. I’m still posting and I’m still present. I still get on there on my computer during work hours, and I will download it if I need to send a voice message or if I just feel very led to just share a story right then and there.
I’ll download it, but then I’ll immediately take it off.
So, I’m not completely getting rid of Instagram. I’m just putting my foot down and making sure I’m not shackling myself again.
I know this is a really hard one to take that first step and implement, but once you do, it is, it is amazing. So, I highly, highly recommend this.
Now if this is going to be hard for you and you’re like, “Man, I just want to be recording stories and reels all the time,” here are some suggestions that I have for you.
First, instead of recording reels on Instagram, just record them on your phone. And honestly, I have found that more original audio just typically does better on my account anyways.
Record yourself talking to the camera, or put together a vlog-style reel. Do that as opposed to just doing trending sounds or hopping on the app during your work hours and recording the trending sound ones.
Another thing that you can do is if you are posting stories a lot, you can record them on your phone and just save them to your phone as opposed to posting them right away. Then just upload them at the beginning of the day and at the end of the day.
That way, you only have to download your app twice a day. So, maybe it’s the first thing during your work hours and the last thing during your work hours. You just go into Instagram, you download your app, and you upload the stories that you were recording on your phone. In the beginning of the day, at the end of the day, as well as responding to DMs or sending voice messages, and then just deleting the app.
If you are one of my students and you’re implementing the Daily Sales System on Instagram, you can still do this on the computer, or you can download the app to your phone and just use it for 30 minutes to an hour.
That just means you have to go in there knowing exactly what you’re doing. And honestly, I like doing it on the computer anyways, so this works out. And the amazing thing about this boundary is that it stops you from scrolling when you first wake up and when you are trying to fall asleep.
Because of this, I have better sleep, I’m not as anxious, I’m more focused and I have a lot more clarity. It’s just so wonderful.
Before we move on to boundary number three, I want to mention the apps that I have deleted are Instagram, Facebook, Facebook Messenger, TikTok, YouTube, Pinterest, and Voxer. and Gmail.
Yes, I have deleted my email app.
When I am not in my work hours, those apps are not on my phone. The one I re-download the most though is Voxer. That one is there during all of my work hours. The other ones, I re-download and delete sporadically. But Voxer is there for pretty much all of the work hours because again, that’s where my clients are, so that just makes sense.
Boundary #3 – Dedicated time to check social media, messaging apps, and email
Boundary number three is to have dedicated times to check social media and your messaging apps and email.
Preferably during your work hours.
Now that all of these apps are off your phone, if you go that route, or even if you don’t go that route, have dedicated times to actually check them. You check all of those things in one sitting, so you’re not just doing it sporadically throughout the day and getting distracted.
Perhaps during your work hours, you set 30 minutes of your day aside to check all your social media, messaging apps, and email. Do it all in one setting. I can promise you, you’ll feel so much clearer throughout your day and more focused because it’s just all getting done right in one sitting instead distracting you.
Boundary #4 – Turn off your phone during deep work
Now, boundary number four is to turn off your phone when you are doing deep work or put it in another room, Now when I say deep work, this looks like content creation.
When you’re sitting and typing a caption, you are doing some client work, or you are recording a podcast. If you do this, you will get so much more done because the distractions just won’t be there. And this is super great for those of you who don’t wind up deleting the social media apps off your phone.
But even if you do, this is still really helpful because texts and calls can still come through. You can start playing games on your phone. There are so many distractions on your phone. It is unreal. Jus turn your phone off or just put it in another room with a ringer on just in case there is an emergency, so you can actually get some deep work done.
Boundary #5 – Limit the notifications on your phone
Now we’re gonna move on to boundary number five, and that is to limit the notifications on your phone.
Personally, I have turned all of my notifications off all of those little red badges on the iPhone that says I have three unread texts, or five missed calls, or whatever it is.
That distracts me. It’s just mental clutter. I can’t take it, so I’ve just gotten rid of those. In addition, I have turned off all alerts for email, Facebook, Instagram, and Voxer, ]because I have dedicated time to check them.
I love this and highly recommend it. However, I will say before I deleted the apps off my phone, I personally found that when my notifications were off, I had a tendency to go to the apps and check my notifications even more frequently than I would if I had my notifications turned on.
I would just do that because I was curious if I had a notification, and it was so distracting. And I know that sounds crazy, but that’s the truth. So, I just personally prefer to delete the apps off my phone. But I’m mentioning this just in case that would work for you.
Boundary #6 – Set time limits for apps on your phone
Boundary number six is to actually set time limits for apps on your phone. Maybe it’s Instagram or Facebook. Or maybe YouTube is a really big distraction for you.
It’ll pop up with an alert saying, “You only have X amount of time left on this particular app. Do you want to keep using this?” Or it’ll pop up saying, “You’ve run out of time, do you want to keep using this? Yes or no?”
And so it’s just an extra layer of boundaries if you want to use it.
But I personally found that when I’ve deleted the apps, I haven’t really had to use this as much, which is really nice because the apps just aren’t even on there. But if you don’t delete those apps, this might be a really good option for you.
Set app limits on your iPhone by following instructions linked HERE.
Set app limits on your Android by following instructions linked HERE.
Boundary #7 – Mute and unfollow accounts that are distracting you
Boundary number seven is to mute and or unfollow accounts that are distracting you, prompting you to compare yourself to them, and or pulling attention away from your focus.
Notice how I said mute or unfollow.
You can essentially mute accounts that you don’t necessarily want to see, but don’t want to unfollow. It doesn’t tell the other person either.
If you want to learn how to mute someone on Instagram, click HERE.
Honestly, when it is time to actually do what you need to do for your business on the apps, I really don’t want any accounts distracting you or causing you to compare yourself or feel unworthy.
That is incredibly unhealthy, so go ahead and mute them or unfollow them, whatever is best.
This is just especially important if you choose not to remove the apps from your phone because you’ll just get caught scrolling.
Boundary #8 – Have a plan when you get on social media
Boundary number eight is to actually have a plan when you get on social media. And yes, this is a boundary because if you go on social media without a plan, you just wind up getting in the scroll hole, and then before you know it, hours passed.
So, don’t just get on there just to get on there. Get on there to implement your Daily Sales System and to post. Actually have a purpose.
When you get on the app, do the purpose, and then get off the app.
Boundary #9 – Take breaks
This leads us to boundary number nine, which is to take breaks. You may be like, “That’s not a boundary,” but it is a boundary because I know I have this tendency to just keep working, and sometimes I don’t take breaks.
If I don’t take breaks from looking at the screen, all of a sudden my blood sugar will just drop and then I’ll get this headache that turns into a migraine, which then becomes a hot mess.
Please take breaks while you work and take breaks before you think you need a break.
During those breaks, I highly recommend getting some movement in. Go outside if you can and get into scripture. Eat some healthy snacks, and drink some electrolytes.
Let your brain refuel itself.
Boundary #10 – Sabbath
And so now last but not least, we’ve got our 10th boundary, which is Sabbath.
I have personally loved incorporating a Sabbath. Honoring the Sabbath day has made such a difference. Not just in my productivity levels or how much I get done, but in my well-being and in my spiritual life, because a true Sabbath is meant to honor the Lord.
It’s not meant to just be a day where you don’t work.
Yes, it’s important to not work, but it’s meant to take the time to truly honor the Lord.
That could look like going on a hike, that could look like dancing or that could look like being with your friends or family.
Just don’t forget the true meaning of the Sabbath. It’s not just not working. It’s to honor Him, to honor His creation, and to honor what He is doing in you.
Remember the Sabbath always. This is so important and this has been critical for me to implement into my life. Not just for my business, but for my relationship with God.
All of that to say, that concludes the 10 social media boundaries you can implement right away, and I really hope that this blesses you.
Please send me a DM on Instagram @hannahbrindley, and let me know if you are going to be implementing any of these boundaries. I would absolutely love to know and I would love to be praying for you, cheering you on, and showing you some support here.
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