Every now and then I like to take an internet break to completely unplug from the virtual world and connect with family, friends and the environment. My best ideas and creativity come when I’m away from technology and too much time online makes me feel busy and restless.
I haven’t been online very much of late. It wasn’t intentional, I just got swept away with a book and the fresh air of the Cotswolds. We all know too much screen time isn’t good for us, but it’s not always easy to find the perfect balance. Especially when, like me, you have a blog to run and a day job!
I’m always looking for ways to simplify my time online, and after a little internet break, I thought I’d share what I do to push back. Don’t get me wrong, I love the web, it’s just good to occasionally have a break.
I ruthlessly filter every email that arrives in my inbox. By taking a few moments to unsubscribe or mark as spam, I’ve cut incoming emails by roughly a third. I also set a little time each day to address every email. It’s a little obsessive but I love a clear inbox! Further reading: how to address your inbox and free up more time.
2. Simplify notifications
The only phone notifications I have activated are texts and tweets. That way I’m not tempted to pick up my phone every time it flashes. When I’m out my mobile tends to stay in my bag to stop me aimlessly scrolling through social media and missing the world around me.
3. Limit sharing
In the past, I’ve posted and tweeted things that weren’t necessary, so this year I cut back on what I post and share. After all, there’s enough random online noise without me adding to it! Although I love to be part of the online community, I no longer feel I have to participate all day long.
4. Limit following
As much as I’d love to follow every newsfeed, blog and inspirational Instagram account there simply aren’t enough hours in the day!
5. No internet before 9am or after 10pm
When this is possible it makes a huge difference. The early hours are precious and I like to plan my day without distractions. I prefer a slow-paced morning and if I see what the world is doing before I even get out of bed, I can feel completely overwhelmed. I also like to fully unwind before I go to bed and that means unplugging. Sorry, internet. Further reading: how to create a calm morning.
6. Enjoy internet free days because they’re invigorating!
Although my recent time offline wasn’t intentional, I try to have time away as often as I can. Taking a step back makes me assess what I miss and what I don’t. And I’d rather my ideas come from my relationship with the real world than the online one. Further reading: the joy of spending time offline.
And finally, when I’m online I try to take plenty of breaks. Looking out of the window at something in the distance is kind to my eyes.
Thanks for stopping by. I hope you have a calm and beautiful day!
This post is in collaboration with White Stuff.