The Benefits of Taking a Week Offline | Photo of a blue front door | natashadenness.co.uk

Taking a week offline

At the end of 2016, I felt like I was continually flipping between 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 | Photo of a plant, book and Twiggy postcard | natashadenness.co.uk

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, avoiding 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 content. I found taking a week offline enabled me to silence the noise and listen to my heart. It also enabled me to consider what I truly 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 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.

The Benefits of Taking a Week Offline | Photo of a living room | natashadenness.co.uk

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.

Further reading

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!

27 Comments

  1. Avatar
    Adorngirl 27th January 2017 at 9:41 am - Reply

    Going offline is always a great idea especially around times like Christmas and new year becuase it needs to be time off for quality time with family. So glad you were able to get a new perspective on things. X

    • Natasha
      Natasha 27th January 2017 at 9:57 am - Reply

      Thanks Ashanti. It’s nice to take a step back every once in a while. Have a lovely day!

  2. Avatar
    fashionforlunch 27th January 2017 at 10:25 am - Reply

    I love this, I have had a super lazy and unproductive week and reading this makes me think I should have just taken the week off!!!!

    • Natasha
      Natasha 27th January 2017 at 12:28 pm - Reply

      Thanks Kirsty. It sounds like you had a great week!

  3. Avatar
    Sue 27th January 2017 at 1:37 pm - Reply

    I love the fact your man check your social for you- what a genius idea!! Wonder if I can persuade mine

    • Natasha
      Natasha 27th January 2017 at 1:57 pm - Reply

      Thanks Sue. He had to hold the fort!

  4. Avatar
    Azanah 27th January 2017 at 1:42 pm - Reply

    Sounds like a pretty beneficial experience, I honestly don’t know if I ever could do it though! Especially growing up in a younger generation technology and social media are so integrated into my life it would be very strange to take a week away.

    • Natasha
      Natasha 27th January 2017 at 2:02 pm - Reply

      To be honest, I didn’t think I could! But as each day passed I became more determined to see the week through. And it was easier doing it over the Christmas holidays because I was with my family. Have a great weekend!

  5. Avatar
    Rachael 27th January 2017 at 2:24 pm - Reply

    Love this :) I did this over Christmas too and it was the best thing ever, I felt so refreshed and inspired when I got back to it again :)

    Rachael xx.
    theteacozykitchen.blogspot.co.uk

    • Natasha
      Natasha 27th January 2017 at 2:28 pm - Reply

      Thanks so much Rachael. I’m pleased to hear you felt refreshed and inspired. I’ll definitely be doing it again over Easter. I hope you have a great weekend!

  6. Avatar
    Karen Clough 27th January 2017 at 4:38 pm - Reply

    Well done you for taking the time out! It’s a hard one to do and social media is SO addictive.
    Always good to take incremental days off though to get some headspace and perspective :)

    • Natasha
      Natasha 27th January 2017 at 5:22 pm - Reply

      Thanks Karen for stopping by. To be honest I’m amazed I didn’t cave in!

  7. Avatar
    lucy 27th January 2017 at 5:14 pm - Reply

    I am thinking of getting an alarm clock too as I want to go to bed and switch off! Great inspiring post X

    • Natasha
      Natasha 27th January 2017 at 5:23 pm - Reply

      Thank you Lucy. I’m loving my new alarm clock, it’s so retro!

  8. Avatar
    kate 27th January 2017 at 6:02 pm - Reply

    “By removing the continual stream of information I could quieten my mind and slow things down.” – yes! totally with you on this, was so nice to take a little step back over Xmas (even if i wasn’t as strict as you!) Great tips here Natasha, thanks for sharing xx

    • Natasha
      Natasha 27th January 2017 at 7:53 pm - Reply

      Thanks Kate for stopping by. It’s great to switch off isn’t it?

  9. Avatar
    Fritha Strickland 27th January 2017 at 7:00 pm - Reply

    These are such wonderful ideas! And I love that your fella checked in on your accounts I would never have thought of that! Xx

    • Natasha
      Natasha 27th January 2017 at 7:54 pm - Reply

      Thanks Fritha. I was worried about leaving them unattended for a week – haha!

  10. Avatar
    Lazy daisy Jones 27th January 2017 at 8:38 pm - Reply

    Alarm clock ordered!
    Sometimes I feel completely overwhelmed by it all which in itself can be a real downer Who needs that? so I try to have one complete day off per week. Inspired by you as ever
    Ashley x

    • Natasha
      Natasha 30th January 2017 at 6:27 pm - Reply

      Thanks, Ashley. A day off each week sounds perfect, as does your new alarm clock!

  11. Avatar
    Geraldine 28th January 2017 at 9:54 am - Reply

    Great advice Natasha. I’m finding it difficult to totally leave digital behind. I’ll have to try a weekend soon x

    • Natasha
      Natasha 30th January 2017 at 6:28 pm - Reply

      Thanks Geraldine for stopping by!

  12. Avatar
    lori 28th January 2017 at 9:19 pm - Reply

    Loving this and can really see some benefits to owning your own time away from the iphone and social media, it can be such an addiction. x

    • Natasha
      Natasha 30th January 2017 at 6:29 pm - Reply

      Thanks Lori. It’s such an addiction!

  13. Avatar
    kathryn 30th January 2017 at 10:22 am - Reply

    I sometimes let my phone run out of battery on purpose and not bother to charge it because it forces me to have a break. Just switching it off and only checking in at certain times of the day is definitely something I want to try. It’s so draining to be responsive every second of the day. Thanks for this xx

    • Natasha
      Natasha 30th January 2017 at 6:32 pm - Reply

      Thanks Kathryn. I do a similar thing with my phone data – if it runs out before the end of the month I don’t renew it. Have a great week!

  14. Avatar
    Victoria Eales 11th February 2017 at 10:47 pm - Reply

    Whilst I’ve never done the completely ‘offline’ I have found, interestingly whilst off work that I’ve been less inclined to scroll through social media on some days and it is refreshing.

    Victoria x
    FlorenceandMary.com

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