Friday afternoon. It’s been a very long week, and I want to completely unwind for the weekend. I consider my options: go out for a meal, drinks at the bar, go for a walk if the weather permits— the usual. All good options but I want something… more.
It’s been a very long time since I have spent 24 hours away from devices and the internet. I quickly go over a mental checklist of what I have got planned for the weekend. Sunday might not work, I’ve got a virtual podcast meeting, but I can do device-free Saturday. I don’t commit to the idea just yet, but it sounds so nice to be able to break up with the internet for a full day, to get away.
When I regain half-consciousness Saturday morning, I know I’m going to spend the day unplugged: It feels so right. My alarm goes off shortly after, I turn off my phone, turn off my iPad, close my laptop, grab my work laptop bag, and I put it all in a box. I tape it shut.
I feel relieved.
Excuses are just that— excuses
That Saturday, I have plans to work on my newsletter and write a blog post. I also wanted to work on my freelance workshop planning. I become a tad bit anxious. How am I going to do any of that without my laptop and access to the Internet? I know there has to be a way, and I figure it out.
A pen and paper.
Just like that, I began drafting a blog post- this blog post- on a piece of paper. Then, I move on to writing down ideas and plans to get clients for my freelance workshop offers. I decide to work on my newsletter the next day, but I could have written down a draft version of that on a piece of paper as well.
I realize the idea that we need a digital device or the Internet to do work is not always necessarily true. It’s mostly an excuse. Sure, it is more convenient to be able to type than write things down manually then type it out, but the ability to unplug, disconnect, and still get work done is a possibility.
It is the art of applying pen to paper.
If I choose to, I can draft all my blog posts, newsletters, and so forth on a piece of paper. In doing so, I decrease the time I spend online while still getting work done. Any time spent offline is less time spent online; the simplest way of looking at digital well-being.
There’s so much time in the day
“Those who make the worst use of their time are the first to complain of its shortness.” — Jean de La Bruysre
When those in-between moments we rush to fill with the digital noise become available, time starts to feel infinite. The morning feels longer. The afternoon drags on. The evening goes on evermore so slowly. Suddenly, time is apparent; in your face. It passes painfully slow, suddenly so obvious, laughing victoriously at you. Notice me now, you hear time say.
Whenever I pause, there is no taking a quick glance at my phone, checking my email once more just in case, or searching on Google all things that come to mind. All that time accumulates. I slow down to keep up with time.
I get so much done that Saturday.
A vacation without a vacation
Going offline for a day, or more, is a delicious treat. It feels like a vacation when you completely disconnect from the digital space. Best of all it’s free and all it requires is you pack up your devices and put them away for the day. Then you do whatever you want knowing that for that day nothing online will be of matter to you. It cannot be of matter to you.
You can’t reach it, thus, it cannot reach you.
The moment I put the box of devices away, I feel totally freed. Because I can’t reach the online space, I know I am unreachable to it. A relief. I don’t plan anything specific that day, but good things happen anyway: productive, interesting, totally fun things. That’s the beauty of disconnecting from the mindless, yet deliciously addictive digital space, it forces you to do.
Do something, anything.
Until next time,
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