As I mentioned in my previous entry, I took myself to the sunshine over christmas and had decided to take an internet sabbath of sorts, only connecting once a day to do my Elevate brain exercises (which unfortunately requires internet access for some games).
So for six days I had to rely solely on myself for entertainment.
I had prepared, fear not, as you would when you go on holidays, I had taken 2 books and had downloaded some 20 ebooks, plus 40 odd podcasts from You Are Not So Smart (this book possibly changed my life and the podcasts are amazing) and also Brilliant Idiots (figured a bit of comedy wouldn’t go amiss).
On my first night, I went to a restaurant behind where I was staying, and found it had free internet access. I thought this would be a good place to come every morning to do my Elevate, it was also at the top of a steep hill so double exercises. [I also discovered the following day that it was next to a supermarket, so my morning routine was nicely laid out: have breakfast, shower, watch the sunrise, walk up to the restaurant (I got faster as the days went :-)), do my Elevate, get my yummy baguette, soda water and anything else I needed there every morning].
Admittedly, since I deactivated my personal facebook account, needing to check my phone every 5 minutes had evaporated, nevertheless, I still found it weird not to be constantly connected to start with.
Then I just got on with doing stuff – reading, or listening to podcasts on my sunlounger (I elected to rent one for my patio in the end – only 3 euros – and it was an excellent idea to make my own little world just perfect – so perfect even that I never went to the pool), preparing my lunch, eating, reading, listening some more, then taking a bath and taking myself to town for some people watching/awe moments by the sea, getting home, eating, reading some more.
After a couple of days of this routine, my mind started to become active and I did my Mind Map on day three.
From then on, same routine, with added “Realisations” moments a galore that needed capturing, either on paper or by using my phone’s Notes App that I have been using for my checklists or random thoughts.
Although I had downloaded an App for the Mind Map, I thought it easier to start on paper (I found creating it on the software too time consuming). And this is the end result (and yes, I had brought highlighter pens with me 😉 the purple bits are bits I added after I created the Mind Map on the App):
Yes, it looks messy but I only had the back of the information envelope they gave me to play with so not much space available, I was really happy with it though. I did transfer it to the software but it was messy to do on a kindle. Ideally I would like to do it on a big white board but it appears those are expensive and I have spoilt myself enough for xmas now 😉
This is the software version:
This is in no way the finished version but the basics are there.
Once the map was drafted, ideas flew in my head about some of the areas and I used my Notes app on my phone (as it was always with me) to record them.
After this, some of the podcasts I listened to, books I read, seemed to just complement my “life plan” perfectly, giving me tips and advice on how to get there, there was never a dull moment! I became grateful of the no-thinking time I allocated myself late afternoons taking a walk into town and to the beach to watch the world go by 🙂
I cheated a bit I will admit:
Once when I was doing my Elevate I received notification of an email from my husband, which I answered, and on christmas day an email from my dad, which I answered.
I also downloaded a collection of eBooks too after I discovered a new one that I totally resonated with.
I lifted the sabbath on the Saturday morning when I was due to come home, and went to the airport earlier than necessary so I could connect to their free wifi [interestingly, the only pleasure I got out of it was reading stuff a new FB contact had posted – his stuff always makes me think, I love it]. Not that I had put a time limit on the Sabbath but it felt to me like I had cut it short.
Still though, this Internet Sabbath has taught me a few things, mainly:
- I am not an internet addict for I can go without for a long period of time, long being relative, however I doubt there are many internet users out there that would even attempt a 6 day sans. I was relieved of this because I am attached to the internet in my life and I wanted to see how bad an addiction it was – addictions aren’t good for you I am told.
- Without constant internet access, I focus much better – hell I even finished a whole paper book (feast I haven’t been able to do for the past few months, I start them then get sidetracked by some other thing) and some eBooks too!
- I seem to sleep longer
I am sure there are other effects that I may not realise just yet.
One thing is for sure – I may be able to be without internet for six days, but not technology 😉
Books I read during my break:
- :59 seconds – Richard Wiseman – Highly recommend!
- The Naked Mind: Control Alcohol – Highly recommend it but the subject deserves (and will get) a separate entry – you can get the ebook free on Amazon.
- As A Man Thinketh – James Allen – This is the one that made me download his whole collection.
- How to Live in the Now – started good enough, then it went all Godly and lost me a bit.
- Mental Efficiency and Other Hints to Men and Women – Arnold Bennett – Free ebook
There were others but I haven’t finished them yet so can’t comment.
I have learned so much through all these books, I am glad I took this break from the Internet.
And in particular, I am glad I did this all by myself, no-one made me, nor was it imposed on me, I had the choice all along. It was purely my personal decision to impose this challenge on myself.
The sense of empowerment that came from this is priceless.
Next challenge: quitting smoking cigarettes.