My Favorite Diet (One That Will Help Your Business)

Natalie MacNeil will show you how to take a digital diet to boost productivity and regain focus

If you’ve ever felt like you’re a slave to your digital device, caught up in a never-ending cycle of constantly checking your email, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and just when you take a minute to step away – Ping! – another notification pops up to pull you back in, then this episode of She Takes on the World TV is for you!

So you’ve probably read diet and nutrition books, you know what Wheat Belly is, and you’ve got a green juice practice that would make Kris Carr proud. But what about a digital diet? Have you ever taken one of those?

To stop the digital madness, it is sooo important that we take time to disconnect once in a while. (Click to tweet!)

More than once, I’ve gone offline for a full week, and the results are always mind-blowing. It’s lead to huge increases in my productivity when I return to work and guess what? My business keeps on growing without me.

Today I want to show you how to plan for a digital diet so you too can enjoy the sweet freedom that comes from disconnecting for a bit. Grab a pen and paper and join me for the video below:


Click here to watch this week’s episode on YouTube:

To recap, there are three important steps you need to take to get ready for your digital diet:

1. Prepare: This step is all about reducing the temptation to check in “just this once.” Your prep might include any or ALL of these ideas, depending on how tempted you are!

  • Block websites by blocking sites using a plug-in like RescueTime.
  • Unplug your laptop and put it somewhere out of sight like the trunk of your car or even giving it to a friend to hold onto for a few days.
  • Delete social media apps from your phone and turn off email notifications.

2. Plan for non-digital activities (but don’t Google them!) Before you start your digital diet, have a stockpile of things to do, like reading books (real ones, on paper), taking yoga classes, road-tripping to a new city, trying a new recipe, writing letters, or even going to a Scandinavian Steam Spa (one of my personal favorites).

3. Set an auto responder on your email. If you’re planning on being offline for several business days, make sure you alert clients ahead of time and set up an email auto responder so they’re not worried that you’ve dropped off the face of the earth.

I know this all might sound a little extreme, but a digital diet with increase your energy, amp up your creativity, and help you get back to center on what matters most. So get to it! Just resist the urge to tweet about it

Your actionable this week is to choose just one day this month to go on a digital diet. I’m a big believer in baby steps! Circle it on your calendar and start planning fun, non-digital things to fill your day. Then leave a comment below to let me know what you’re going to do with all your free time!


***I’d love to get more people on digital diets so please share this video with your friends, and be sure to subscribe to She Takes on the World TV for more great tutorials, interviews with experts, guided meditations, and access to a special, live YouTube series that I’ll be debuting soon!***

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20 thoughts on “My Favorite Diet (One That Will Help Your Business)

  1. Love this!! I have been trying to focus on only what elevates me, social media and internet wise, and I have found that I used to waste so much time on Facebook. Cutting back on internet time is so key to health and wellbeing, it’s about being focused with one’s time online, maybe using the 80/20 principle.

    1. Yeah, I think some people think their social media efforts are doing more than they really are. That’s why I’m a big fan of tracking everything to make sure you know what works, and what doesn’t. Then you can just focus on what’s working, and cut back on the rest so you can have a life too 🙂

  2. Hi Natalie,

    Love the concept of a digital diet. With my travel schedule, I normally completely unplug while in travel. I say “normally” because, on occasion, when I’ve been on a flight with wifi and I’m working a tight schedule, I’ve even succumbed to working while I fly. Most people don’t see the multi-day gap (travelling between Toronto and Oman requires a couple of days as I also always stop on route to enjoy the company of friends and family), as I use Buffer to schedule posts in advance. For any of you ladies that are fretting about going “dark”, I recommend Buffer to pre-plan your posts. Its the guilt-free way to going offline!

    1. I HATE WiFi on airplanes because a plane ride is work-free time for me! I like getting cozy, and watching movies during my flight. Buffer is an awesome tool so thanks for mentioning that!

  3. Here,s a simple way we can take this digital diet without feeling that we have missed out on or lost anything.

    Notice on your calendar that most months have four weeks, but some have five. If we pick those “fifth in a month” weeks to do the diet, we will already have had our usual four weeks of indulgence for that month – so we can feel happy that we are not losiing anything.

    This can work with just about any kind of “diet” that lasts for a week. Digital diet, detox diet, meetings diet… whatever.

  4. This is painful! LOL. I’ve tried to do this so many times, but end up feeling so disconnected. Which is crazy because I know for a fact that I’m not missing ANYTHING. Well…I will sit down with my calendar tonight and…pick…a…day. {gulp}

  5. A great way to take a digital diet without feeling the pain of it is to go on a cruise! The internet on cruise ships is infuriatingly slow and expensive, so you’ll totally disconnect. I run a location-independent business and travel the world learning about entrepreneurial ecosystems around the globe [see more about my journeys at, which is great for the flexibility that it allows for me to travel and enjoy life, but it means I am pretty much never not working. That’s why when I really need to take a break and go on a digital diet I go for a cruise…it eliminates the temptation and provides tons of non-digital activities to enjoy while you’re disconnected.

  6. I love the idea of a digital diet! I haven’t quite gotten to the point where I can delete the social media apps from my phone but I have completely turned off all notifications and that made such a huge difference for me. I’m going to pick a day this month and take a total break. And work my way up from there. Thanks for the tips!

    1. When you’re on my Bali retreat I’ll be forcing you to turn it all off 😉 So getting prepared with one day a month is good. Can’t wait to meet you on the retreat!

  7. Great idea! I’ve been thinking a lot about actually downgrading my phone to something really simple that can only do calls and texts (do they even make phones like this still?) so that when I’m not working – I can just focus on non digital life and activities and not have the opportunity to check emails or social media, or look something up on the Internet – which then suddenly leads to “screen suck” and taking lots of time!

    1. I only check my phone twice a day now, and I keep it in another room the rest of the time. It was hard at first but I’m more productive when I focus solely on what I need to accomplish instead of getting distracted by calls, pings, alerts, etc.

  8. Thanks for the great ideas! I was just unsubscribing from a bunch of BS emails when I saw this in my inbox. Great topic and it’s definitely needed in my life – but no, I won’t unsubscribe from your updates! : ) Things I’m trying to along these lines:

    I am seriously considering the Rescue Time app.
    I don’t take my phone with me when we go out to eat anymore.
    I’m trying to implement a “no technology in the bedroom” rule, but’s that one is hard when your phone is your alarm!!
    I shut off email when I’m working – especially when I’m writing.

    These things have helped – but I still feel overwhelmed digitally! I was hiking yesterday trying to disconnect from it all – but still snapping pictures for instagram, and using Google maps. I could usually use a screen vacation!

    Thanks again!

  9. I especially like the idea of replacing my device time with something else. Now I get to look forward to visiting state parks during the spring! I also like to keep my phone in a separate room when I’m at home and not working. It’s crazy how many times I think about reaching for it, but after awhile I’m able to pay attention much more closely to what I’m doing and enjoy my time so much more.

  10. I just wanted to let you know that I’m gearing up for a computer-free vacation. This will be my first real vacation since my honeymoon 7 years ago without bringing my work with me! And after all the work it took to launch my book Architect a Business Website that Sells, I’m look forward to a break from technology.

    In order to do this, however, I’m having to prepare a lot of things in advance. I’m following similar steps for preparing for the holidays, kindly recommended by Katie Lee. Good stuff there too.

    Thanks again for the idea – I so needed this!

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