Your browser (Internet Explorer 7 or lower) is out of date. It has known security flaws and may not display all features of this and other websites. Learn how to update your browser.


Navigate / search

[57] How and Why to Take a Digital Sabbatical

Running a creative business requires you to be available to your customers and alert to opportunities. Used correctly online resources can take your business to new levels but it can also bury us in a time wasting and stress inducing cycle. This is where a digital sabbatical becomes super important!

Constantly being online, checking, looking and communicating can be unhealthy so it is important to recognise when it is time to take a break from the online world to give your mind space and rest. The hardest part of this is remembering that what you leave will still be there when you get back!

So, if you struggle at times to keep yourself in check, this episode can help you work out how and why to have a digital sabbatical.


Quotes and highlights from this Episode:

  • The purpose of a digital sabbatical is to switch off from the world for a period of time.
  • Checking email and social media can very quickly become addictive.
  • There is that feeling of ‘I’ll just take a look’ or ‘I’ll just check it quickly’.
  • The next step is when you start ‘checking’ but not dealing with those emails or communications.
  • This means you are constantly thinking about it.
  • It is so easy to have email and social media accounts open all the time and quite often is the last thing to be looked at before sleep.
  • ‘Stepping away from this cycle for a few days gave me space to breathe and relax.’ {Jess}
  • The book ‘Manage Your Day to Day‘ by 99u is a great resource for learning to get these habits into control.
  • One good point in this book is that multitasking is not going to help you. It is simply juggling tasks. You need to focus on one thing at a time in order to be more productive.
  • ‘Your’e in a constant state of alertness and it’s disrupting you all the time.’ {Jess}
  • A digital sabbatical is about breaking the habit by stopping it for a couple of days.
  • You can’t be afraid to take time off.
  • Just starting with a weekend so you feel comfortable is a great place to start.
  • If you are taking longer and you are concerned about this then just notify people in advance.
  • ‘Is it really worth your sanity to be constantly in this state of alertness and stress?.’ {Jess}
  • Sometimes a little extra work is required in the lead up to a sabbatical but it is worth it.
  • Remember that taking time out also helps us to appreciate how great it is to have these online resources!

Download or Listen to This Episode

(You can also subscribe to the podcast and listen to this episode on iTunes + Stitcher – just search ‘Create & Thrive’.)


has written 18 posts in this blog.

I am a textile designer and weaver living in beautiful Tasmania. I also run a small business supporting independent makers and artists run creative workshops teaching my weaving. I come from a creative family so it felt very natural for me to pursue a creative career.


Michelle Emma Kay

I have long been putting digital boundaries in place for myself. I had to do it for my own sanity. I enjoy time online, but I know it can be very draining, I end up feeling fractured and wasting lots of time.

One of my boundaries, for example, is that many of my online passwords are randomly generated numbers so I can’t remember them. I copy and paste them to log into things when I specifically want to use them and once I’ve finished I log out.

Even then, I do get sucked into spending more time than I want to online, but it definitely helps to disrupt that habit of constant checking. I feel much more focused when I do log in and try to be productive during that time.

When I do have the urge, having that little bit more of a barrier to log in can be enough time to think twice about it and stop. When I log out, it is a conscious change of focus to IRL.

This podcast was a great reminder to stay strong on my digital boundaries! Thanks Jess.

I recently took a digital break for most of one week. It was a spur of the moment decision so I did “check in” briefly a couple of times to sort out things that were time sensitive. When I checked in I was very aware and had a specific purpose to complete before going again. I did read articles on the internet during this time, but I didn’t do anything to do with my biz or personal social stuff.

When I decided to prioritise building my business online for the next 12 months, I knew that it would be important for to balance this with a lot of time off from the digital too. I have scheduled one digital free day a week on Sunday. At the moment, I do do making on that day. It can be for the biz or something else creative just because I enjoy it. This is not draining for me at the moment. And I don’t have to do making, I can do any thing else. Just not digital work.

I will also be taking one full digital week off once each three months. I have planned for this, so this next time it will be a complete break. I also have a clear schedule for my digital activities to ensure that I get the things that are important done when I am online. Also, this way I know when enough is enough and then I just shut it all down. Ahhhhhh 🙂

What say you?