Sophie and I started our Instagram’s earlier in February this year and as with most people, we found our days filled with Instagram and Instagram-related activities, so we made the decision to try and put certain parameters in place to give us time back but to also add to our productivity.
If you’ve clicked to read this blog then, to some degree, it’s likely you you are spending too much time on Instagram and everything that comes with it. Are you tired of picking up your phone and tapping into the IG app without even thinking about it? Do you find yourself checking in for 5 minutes before bedtime and before you know it, you’re looking at a @catsofinstagram page at 3am (we’ve all been there)? Are you just tired of Instagram taking over your life? Well if so, try to follow the below steps and this should help stop the Instagram itch and you can have your lives back!
1. No Instagram before 10am and after 7pm
This might sound easy (or maybe difficult) for some of you but for us, it’s been a real game-changer. I don’t know about you but we would find ourselves checking in as soon as we woke up, scrolling through irrelevant profiles and getting lost down the never-ending rabbit hole that is Instagram. We found that if we waited until 10am, we were able to wake up, clear our heads, do a workout, meditate etc and actually get ready to deal with our day. Give it a try, do a week where you wait until 10am to check into your phone (I know this is tough but try it) and see how much clearer your head is for the rest of the day. Also, we found that our sleep improved massively and we didn’t dream about instagram (don’t pretend you haven’t dreamt about Instagram too!).
2. Saturday is our day off!
So this might vary for some of you but Saturday seems to be the day where engagement is down and is just, in general, a bad day for posting. Therefore, we made the decision to take this as a day off and just not check in at all. Some might say this is bad but this really is a way of us re-charging the batteries and it just means we are more fresh and motivated for the rest of the week. It’s not an exact science and sometimes we need to break this rule but when we can, we have Saturday’s to ourselves! Give this a try for a month, I guarantee your engagement won’t be affected but you will just feel fresher and more motivated for the rest of the week.
3. Only check in 3-4 times per day and only relevant scrolling!
So, again, if you are like us I am sure you are currently losing hours of your day on Instagram scrolling through videos and photos that you don’t even care about, you are just on auto-pilot. If you added up the time in your day that you spend not really doing anything but still in the app, I’m sure this would scare and shock you! We made the decision that we would try to only check in 3 times a day (sometimes 4) and for those times, it would be focusing solely on engaging on our own posts and other people’s profiles in our niche; there would be no mindless scrolling! Whilst this is incredibly difficult, you will find that if you are able to do this focused engaging and nothing else, then you will achieve so much more but in half the time, freeing yourself up to focus on other things.
4. Max of 60-90 minutes interaction a day
Anyone who runs a travel instagram account or in fashion, fitness etc, we all know that building your network in your niche is important and therefore engaging and interacting with other people in your niche is a must in the modern Instagram world. 60-90 minutes might sound like a lot but I reckon there’s a good chance you spend more time than this now on Instagram and again, I would guess that the majority of it is mindless scrolling. We try to do 30 minutes around 10am, 30 minutes around lunchtime and then another 30 minutes before dinnertime. When we are posting, we will try to post halfway between of of those 30 minute sessions so that there is likely to be more engagement on the post.
5. Each Sunday – we prepare
One thing we found during our last trip was that we were spending too much time, every day editing, writing captions, hashtags etc and we would find ourselves doing rushed jobs and it would either impact the quality of the post and/or take away from whatever we were doing that day. Therefore, we made the decision that on one of the days, every week (mainly Sunday), we would edit our next 6-9 photos and get all of our posts ready for the next week so that they are ready to go. You might think that this sounds incredibly time-consuming but we found that once you were on a roll with writing all your captions out, doing your edits, you significantly shorten the time you spent on each individual posts. If this sounds difficult or you’re just skeptical, please, as with the rest of the steps I have suggested, give it a try for a week or month and I am sure you will find that you will notice your time being freed up to focus on other things.
Time is such a precious thing to everyone these days and whilst Instagram is incredibly important to many people, it’s so important that it doesn’t begin to dictate your life, remember that you are the one in control and you should make Instagram work within your own schedule, not let it be the focal point of your schedule.