I love hearing the tap, tap, tap of the keyboard in the early morning. Watching my written words flow onto the computer screen amazes me. I’m continually in awe of technology and how we can use it for good.
But I’ve also been wondering how much time we need to spend online.
For instance, think about your own behaviors. How many of you wake-up and check your email, twitter, or facebook stream, with a cup of coffee? Or have been on vacation and constantly stared at your glowing phone to check incoming messages? I’ve definitely been guilty of those bad behaviors.
So the idea of taking a digital sabbatical and teaching people how to connect more wisely has been on my mind recently. Especially, after reading Gwen Bell’s latest post and listening to this interview with William Powers.
What is a digital sabbatical? Dedicating one day a week or even a whole month away from the internet, email, twitter, and other online activities.
Taking an extended sabbatical is appealing to me. It would be one way to solely focus on writing my next ebook and to recharge my creative juices. Until I can take an extended break from the web, I’m planning on unplugging every weekend.
So that means my weekend plans will not include:
- Surfing the web.
- Checking email.
- Updating twitter or facebook.
- Moderating blog comments.
My weekend retreat plans include:
Being online less and outside more. A few of my top priorities include taking advantage of the beautiful summer weather, spending time with friends and family, focusing on writing amazing content, and reducing insecurity work.
So consider this guide as a reminder to go outside and enjoy the summer.
As you go through the tips below remember to:
- Choose activities that look interesting.
- Experiment and have fun. That’s the whole point right? Taking time off from the internet and social networks should free up plenty of time to engage in creative pursuits.
- And don’t do everything at once!
21 Digital Sabbatical Ideas
1. Limit the amount of information you consume. Ideally, a digital sabbatical means you’ll be spending little to no time on the internet. If you incorporate 3 to 5 of the tips below, you should have plenty to keep you busy.
3. Read a good book. A good book has the potential to change your life, career, and world view. So head to your local library and bring home a few dozen books.
4. Get your move on! Whether you work at home or in an office, it’s essential to move more and sit less.
5. Go bike camping. You don’t realize how much noise you’re surrounded by everyday, until you spend time in nature, and quietly pedal your way on open country roads.
6. Consider rising early to see the sun rise and hear the world wake up.
7. Eat real food and practice minimalist home cooking.
8. Simplify your finances. Think about starting to track your expenses, consolidating your accounts, and buying goods in cash.
9. Go for a walking meditation. Walking meditation is a beautiful practice and it is a practice found in both the Taoist and Buddhist traditions. It’s a beautiful way to calm the mind and raise your awareness be present and mindful of your experiences while you walk.
10. Spend time with your loved ones.
11. Start building community. Get out of your home and start volunteering peeps!
“The dividing line is between those who do something and those who do nothing.” ~Derrick Jensen
12. Learn to quiet your mind. Quieting the mind to focus on the important can be difficult. It’s so easy to get caught up in what we “should be” doing, rather than focusing on what brings us joy and happiness.
13. Declutter your home. Start small. Take 10 minutes out of your day and remove the clutter from one area of your house. Before you know it your junk drawer will be clean, then your closet, and eventually your whole house.
14. Keep a journal.
15. Embrace happiness.
16. Practice gratitude.
17. Connect with others.
“If we’re constantly toggling between people on Facebook and texts and all these new ways of connecting all day long, and we never have a sustained connection, it’s not really connectedness. It’s sort of the opposite of connectedness.” ~William Powers
18. Incorporate yoga and meditation into your routine.
20. Make time for a creative weekend.
“Practice not-doing and everything will fall into place.” – Lao Tzu