Taking a week offline
At the end of 2016, I felt like I was continually flipping between my life/work and social media. It was making me feel busy and restless and the constant checking and scrolling became a habit I wanted to shake. So, during the Christmas break, I decided to take a week offline. I was interested to know how it would make me feel, and more importantly if I could do it!
On Christmas Eve, I eagerly packed away my iPad and iPhone. It was lovely to switch off and enjoy a slightly more traditional Christmas with my family, free of any background noise. At the end of the week, I scribbled down a few observations which I thought I’d share with you today.
The benefits of taking a week offline
1. Removing the habit and identifying what adds value to my life
During the first few days, I found myself constantly reaching for my phone. This continual habit made me question why. Each time there didn’t seem to be a valuable reason, I simply wanted to check social media out of habit.
As the days passed, I thought about the online world less and less. The time away also enabled me to consider what I truly missed. It gave me the space to plan what I would like from the internet during 2017, and more importantly, what I could let go of.
I also thought about the way I use the internet and how I would like to improve my relationship with it. In an ideal world, I’d like to consume only inspiring and positive content, and of course, the occasional cat video! Plus, avoid sharing too much by taking a moment to consider what I’m posting before I hit share.
2. Making space for ideas, dreams and goals
It’s easy to be swept away by the paths, dreams and goals of others, especially when we’re consuming a lot of online content. I found taking a week offline enabled me to silence the noise and listen to my heart and intuition. It enabled me to consider what I want in my creative life and work moving forward.
I also noticed a flurry of ideas, I felt energised, motivated and keen to make things happen. When I stopped looking around, I could plan things at my own pace and in my own way. It was a lovely feeling.
3. Being a little more present in my everyday life
I also noticed that I became more present in my life. When I brushed my teeth or took a shower, I felt engaged in the activity and my thoughts. I was no longer pondering a recent news feature or someone else’s Facebook update!
It also made me realise I spend a lot of time thinking about the thoughts and opinions of others. By removing the continual stream of information, I could quieten my mind and slow things down. It was lovely to go at my own pace and it provided a greater sense of gratitude for everything around me.
Offline is the new black (for me, anyway!)
Since taking a week off, I’ve bought an alarm clock to enable me to continue enjoying a calm and uninterrupted morning. It’s lovely to plan my day before I see what everyone else is up to.
I also decided to set specific times for social media rather than dipping in and out throughout the day. This helps me to focus on one task at a time and I’m finding I get a lot more done.
The time off was liberating because it enabled me to reset the balance. Do you ever take a week offline? I’d love to know how you find it – please share in the comments.
Simple digital habits that support my life and work
How to set digital boundaries when you’re running a creative business
The benefits of internet-free days
How to organise your schedule, surroundings and digital life
Thank you, as always, for stopping by. I hope you have a wonderful day. Until next time, I’ll see you over on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, unless of course, you’re taking a week offline!