THE BENEFITS OF 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 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 and my man kindly offered to check my Candy Pop accounts every few days. 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 and today I’m sharing some of the things I discovered during my week off.
REMOVING THE HABIT + ESTABLISHING WHAT ADDS VALUE
During the first few days, I found myself 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 for the sake of it.
As the days passed I thought about the online world less and less. The time away enabled me to consider what I truly missed and what adds value to my life. It gave me a little 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, refraining from sharing too much – always taking a moment to consider before I hit share.
SPACE FOR IDEAS, DREAMS AND GOALS
It’s easy to be swept away by the paths, dreams and goals of others. Being offline enabled me to silence the noise and listen to my heart. I spent a lot of time thinking about what I truly want and the extra time and space made this process simple.
I also noticed a flurry of ideas, I felt energised and motivated and keen to make things happen. Without seeing what others were doing I could plan things at my own pace and in my own way. There was no pressure and I could enjoy the quiet freedom.
BEING A LITTLE MORE PRESENT IN EVERYDAY LIFE
I slowly became more present in my life. When I brushed my teeth or took a shower I was more engaged in the activity and my thoughts. Not pondering recent news features or someone else’s Facebook update.
I realised I spend a lot of time thinking about the thoughts and opinions of others. And by removing the continual stream of information I could quieten my mind and slow things down. It was nice to go at my own pace and it provided a greater sense of gratitude for everything around me. (More: how to be mindful in everyday life.)
OFFLINE IS THE NEW BLACK (for me, anyway!)
Since my digital detox, I’ve bought an alarm clock so I can continue to enjoy a calm and uninterrupted morning. Keeping my iPhone and iPad out of the bedroom enables me to avoid temptation! And it’s nicer 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. It stopped me constantly checking, unlocked more time and slowed things down. (More: six ways to spend less time online.)