Spending time offline

The irony of writing a blog post about spending time offline isn’t lost on me. However, it’s a conversation that I’ve been having more frequently over the past few months. And not just with old people like me!

I had a lovely chat with Kendra, who was sat to my left at the dinner in Glasgow on Tuesday evening. Kendra is 23, and MD of StartEdinburgh, where she spends her days connecting and supporting digital companies in the Capital. And yet, one of the things that she values, is time without her devices in the evening.

My friend Nicola, who I wrote about a couple of weeks ago, is another young woman who spoke recently about how much she enjoyed being offline. As our Centre Manager at The Circle, Nicola was rushed off her feet at the launch party on Friday and had no time to check her phone. That was almost four hours offline. I asked Nic how this made her feel – “Wonderful”, was her honest answer!

Maybe the French have got it right. They introduced a new law banning companies from sending work emails to employees after 6pm. That doesn’t stop people from whilling away the night on Facebook, but it does reduce the number of interruptions.

We all have our own ways of dealing with this. I don’t keep any devices in my bedroom for instance. My iPad gets charged downstairs, whilst my phone stays in the study. I actually bought an old fashioned alarm clock so that I didn’t have the excuse of using my phone as an alarm clock. When I wake during the night, this means there’s no temptation to have a wee peak at my phone. Same thing first thing in the morning. It’s definitely made a difference to how well I sleep.

What about you? Are you a slave to the device, or have you developed strategies to keep yourself from getting distracted? Let me know in the comments below.

5 thoughts on “Spending time offline

  1. That’s interesting Alasdair! I spend my time encouraging my clients to switch off the internet at 9pm in order for them to get a better night’s sleep to aid weight loss and improved performance in sport. I take my phone to bed, more because I have an app which measures the quality of sleep but I might get myself an old-fashioned alarm clock myself and see if there’s any difference to my sleep patterns ๐Ÿ™‚

      1. I’ve got a Garmin Vivoactive which does the same thing. Might just use the alarm on that instead ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. I had my first holiday this where I didn’t check email; it was great. Well, apart from sifting through 850 messages in my inbox on my return. My iPhone does stay by my bed – us IT support guys have to be on call – but the Do Not Disturb function stops me being woken by messages or notifications.

    1. Ah, the joys of holiday emails! Do Not Disturb was a great feature for Apple to add, however I still found myself checking it in the middle of the night. Thanks for commenting James!

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