Very Mini Digital Sabbatical

During the week of 9th – 16th September 2011 I experimented by taking my first very mini Digital Sabbatical¬†after reading about Gwen Bell’s experiences.

This coincided with a week holiday mostly by myself in the beautiful town of St Ives:

I really needed a rest and a break from everything digital. I had picked up some bad digital habits, namely checking email and facebook a great deal.

For this week in September I:

  • read books
  • surfed – the perfect activity for refreshing the mind
  • walked around loads
  • read dedications to passed loved ones writen on park bench memorials
  • ate good food (and a little bad food too!)
  • wave watched
  • cloud gazed
  • drank a few cocktails
  • hung out with family
  • wrote in my journal a lot

I didn’t:

  • take my laptop with me
  • hit refresh on digital inboxes / streams
  • check email much (I disabled all accounts however I did give in 3 times enabling mail on my phone then disabling it each time after)
  • create digital work (besides a few notes on my phone to remind me of concepts I wanted to write about)
  • browse the web with the exception of reading intentionally¬†Leo Babauta’s two sites, Zen Habits and Mnmlist. Both were simple text only sites / posts.
  • do anything that required my laptop to be on
What was it like?

I’m not going to lie, the first couple of days were tough! I didn’t really know what to do with myself. time seemed to expand. I ended up writing alot about what I was doing / not doing / thinking which helped me debrief.
My brain was on the hunt to connect with others and kept trying to find things to DO that mattered. This manifested in me taking alot of photos.
After a while I got into the swing of solitude and relaxing. I ended up walking alot, something which I swore to my parents as a kid I hated and would never enjoy when all I wanted to do was surf. Funny how things, or should it be myself, change.
I became very content with not doing much, moving slowly and having a greater awareness of everything.
Of course this was helped by the stunning location and the fact that I could hear the ocean from my apartment at the stylish sail lofts when I went to sleep and woke up.
What is it like now?

I’m better at using the net. I still think about checking email first thing in the morning, sometimes I do on my laptop, but I try to wait until later on in the afternoon / evening. It’s a work in progress.

I cut most ties with facebook.

There is more space for other stuff like creating and thinking now.

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