This week, I am away on my own digital sabbatical.

I’ve booked 5 nights in a hotel at the beach, deleted all social media and email apps from my devices, and will avoid the internet as much as I can (my aim is to use it only for navigation as I go exploring the highlights of the local region I researched before I left).

As a 37-year-old person, I remember what the world was like before the internet. It sometimes blows my mind that my generation is the last who will.

And, as an introvert, I find being constantly connected tiring, draining, and invasive at times. Being someone who runs an online business, I have good ‘digital hygiene’ – that is, I make sure that work doesn’t infect my life by putting boundaries around my work hours – and my ensuring that all of my notifications are always turned off! I also avoid getting online on Sundays.

But sometimes, I need to go one step further and turn it all off for more than a day. That is what a digital sabbatical is.

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.

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.

This is a REDUX – a replay of an old episode, with a new intro. If you haven’t listened to it before – or, indeed, if you have but haven’t put this into practice yourself – I hope this episode will inspire you to schedule your own digital sabbatical into your year.




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.
  • ‘You’re 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!

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