The Best Time is Offline

Wednesday, July 22, 2020


Being offline does wonders to the mind and soul, especially now when we're spending most of our time at home.

Allow me to open with a song, it's part of my playlist for when I unwind..


24 and blooming like the fields of May
25 and yearning for a ticket out

Ever since the quarantine season started, I found myself being online way more often, since this is the way I could stay connected with people. This is also how I'm able to get my work done; catching up with my teammates here in Manila and collaborating with my counterparts in Japan. Well, the setup with my counterparts has long been this way ever since I started, so connecting online is part of my work.

A regular work (from home) day starts by logging in with my work laptop, then logging off at the end of the day, only to log in to either my cellphone or personal laptop. For quite some time this has been my arrangement, and it still continues to be. Somehow though, I noticed how the days just pass me by so quickly. I'm happy about it yet at the same time I wonder if I was able to make my time truly worthwhile throughout the day?

This was when I started to evaluate the time I spent online, and it led me to the decision to take one day off a week to not go online at all. It falls on either one of the days on the weekend. Just one day, out of all the seven days we have in a week, to disconnect.


It's also my effort to make time go by slowly, or rather, to somehow alter my own perception of time. Time offline lets my mind wander a bit, something I don't let myself do so much on a regular work (from home) day. But somehow practicing this makes creative ideas come more naturally, doesn't it?

It certainly is nice to not have to check my phone from time to time in anticipation of a message, email, or notification from any of my social media accounts. There's no ringing from a Zoom call, or a bell notification from Slack, which I admit gets me on my toes most of the time. My ears perk up and I know I have to check my work laptop, even if it's lunch time..

I have my days of having up to ten Zoom calls in a day. It's very tiring.

It's also a time to not feel the impulse of having to share something online, because in truth, we don't always have to. How nice it is, to keep some of our lives to ourselves, to treasure it on our own. I sometimes remember a moment more when I don't share it with anyone, or when I'm able to speak about it in person; the memory remains fresh, and it's always there for as long as you want for it to be. It's yours.

I have also rediscovered the magical wonder of taking naps. My own definition of a good nap ranges from two to three hours, with two being the minimum. I try not to go beyond three, or I might risk not being able to sleep later at night! It usually happens after lunch, or at three o'clock in the afternoon. In these times, I just try to zone out at first, then eventually close my eyes. Later on I wake up to the sun's golden hour rays filtering through my window. Or if it is a rainy afternoon, I'm awakened by the pitter patter of raindrops, the same ones that have lulled me to slumber.

It's also much easier to get the necessary things done. I first thought, if I had so much time, I'll be able to accomplish more things. But to try to fit in as much as I can in a day be draining, and there goes my tendency to unknowingly put pressure on myself. Instead, I would prefer thinking of what needs to be done, and to do these without rushing. Now that there's more time, I feel like I have more options, and it's ultimately up to me to filter and make sure I do value-adding activities. If I won't be able to finish something today, there is still tomorrow.

And since I can slow down, that means I can get even more immersed with the things I love doing. More time is taken in caring for my plants in the garden, more attention is given to the banana bread I'm baking, and more thought is given to what I'm writing. It is amazing how there can be "more" for valuable activities when there is less time for being online.



Then when there is more attention, there is also more self-awareness. Recently apart from my full time work, I have also been actively writing for my firm's newsletter, plus other writing projects entirely outside of my recruiting role. What I observed about myself is that, I would usually write first a blog entry before proceeding to writing an article. Not that I don't like the article I'm meant to write, but somehow writing a blog seems to me a very natural thing to do. So it is my hope to have that natural tone spill over to my article, and to write (as cheesy as it may sound) from the heart. After all, when something is done with careful intention, it will always be felt. It doesn't always have to be directly written or said.

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Happy Wednesday, dear reader. I'm taking two days off from work starting tomorrow, and I'm very, very excited about it! I may not be off to some foreign place, but it will surely allow me to take a pause from the daily grind and essentially rest.

The photos I used on this entry were back from when our plum tree was bearing much fruit. My parents and I took the time to pick from the tree, and I think I'll always remember such a time fondly, as I would often spend my time offline in this way, caring for our garden.

What are your favorite offline activities, or what are your thoughts on spending time off the grid?

Write to you again soon. : - )


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16 comments

  1. okay, i really must say this: your blog is honestly one of the calming blogs that i always come back to every so often. i love how soothing this space is, really -- the contents and the whole minimalistic entire look! <3

    anyway, back in college, i also used to take a day in a week offline, and that would usually be on Sundays where i tend to spend more time with my family, go to church, and take rest -- lots of it (and by that, i mostly mean a looooooooong afternoon nap). then, i'd prep for the coming week.

    when i entered another chapter of my life (which is adult-ing slash the working life), i kind of dropped that habit entirely for some reason. and i must admit, it has affected so much of my sanity!

    while i was reading through what you've written, i felt nostalgic. i miss my oh-so-peaceful sundays and the tranquility that the offline world has to offer, and one thing i'm certain right now, i must incorporate this habit back in my life. the soonest possible.

    thank you for this! thank you for the things you are sharing! you're one of the few people that i always love seeing in my social media feeds!

    no pressure, but i hope you continue doing and sharing the things that you love. you may not be so aware, but you are inspiring others on the side! =)

    always take care, Anna! <3

    sincerely, riz

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    1. Hello Mariz, thank you so much for your kind words.. you are indeed one of the sweetest writers I've met here on this space, and I'm thankful and honored by your presence here and I'm always delighted to know that my words resonate with you. I seriously want to print out your comment and tape it on my wall!! Ahhhh. Kindreds such as you keep me writing. I will for sure keep on going in sharing my life on here for as long as I can. :")

      Thank you for sharing and describing about how you used to spend your days back in college. I agree, we had more time for rest, yet now as young adults it seems like a luxury. My Sundays before were filled with lots of naps! Now though while in quarantine season, I realize how we must take every opportunity we can to take a rest, and naps are once again much welcomed. I hope we both continue to try incorporating rest and loving our times offline into our daily lives.

      Take care always! I wish you a great rest of your week :) the weekend is in sight~

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  2. loved this post Anna! I love the way you said "when there is more attention there is more self-awareness". I noticed this about myself when I deleted social media. it was only 3 weeks but by the end of the first week I noticed a huge difference! one day off a week is something i want to incorporate and you've inspired me to give it a serious go! :)
    elliekblog.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. Hello Ellie, I enjoyed reading through your entry on disconnecting from social media for 3 weeks! It's such a healthy cleansing habit for our minds, and we realize it's something we can do without, really. Going off for one day a week for me is doable, and I can see myself doing this constantly (at least so far). I do encourage you to try it once a week too! I hope you find it a sustainable practice, and that it can be a day to look forward to in the week. Have a lovely rest of your week <3

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  3. Your blog is really calm and relaxing - I must say well done on creating such a space! I know what you mean about time being best spent offline; I'm the same with my 'workday' being spent all on my laptop with university work and commitments. It can be hard to switch off; especially with COVID-19 making it very hard to go places comfortably and at ease sometimes. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, and have a great week.

    Paige // Paige Eades

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    1. Hello Paige, thank you, it brings me joy to know you think so :) I'd like to think this space has the same effect on me as well; I also feel at home and I love sharing my writings on here. It's true, it's been hard to switch off; a day of not checking my social media is a feat already for me. But it can be so healing to do, so it's definitely good to spend time offline. I hope you've had a great week, and wishing you a restful weekend!

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  4. I completely understand what you mean! Social media and the internet in general can be exhausting and draining. Plus, it's so easy to get lost in the sauce of it all. Electronics and the internet is quite encapsulating.
    I love the little things in life; waking up to rain, sleeping while is raining and being woken up by the sound of it. I completely understand how you feel. It feel so good.
    I'm glad that you have two days off! I hope you spend it exactly how you want to.
    Your blog is so serene and calming.
    I'm definitely stopping by here more often.
    xxxx
    Have a great two days and a great week ahead!

    https://ooomaye.com

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    1. So very true; instead of focusing so much on social media, I find more comfort in noticing the little things in life. Social media can just wait :)
      It is a glorious two days off, I'm very blessed to take time off and have a long weekend. I have been taking naps and catching up on chores hehe
      Thank you for being here! I hope you have a restful weekend. <3

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  5. Enjoy your off time doll! It is well deserved!

    Des | https://www.itsbetterinheels.com

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    1. Thank you, Des!! :") I aim to just simply do more of what I love, and hope for time to slow down. Thank you for being here, wishing you a great weekend ahead!

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  6. I love being offline - so much to see out in life. Though it might be harder for some right now, but it is much needed. It is great that you took some time off. I try to be offline after work just to relax. The last thing we want is to consume too much technology.

    YESSS This is also why I turned off notifications for everything except for email and texts. I've been on several back to back calls and it sucks. Glad you were able to reflect during your time off :). Hope you enjoyed the off time from work!!

    Nancy ✨ exquisitely.me

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    1. Work actually exposes us already to so much of technology-- I agree that it's good to not go online anymore after work. Would totally incorporate this into my routine! Time off work is so important, all the more now; it makes all the difference not having to open my work laptop and just have more time for rest and tune in to my current state.

      Thank you for your time with me on here, and wishing you a great week ahead :")

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  7. I agree with this. I need more of offline time, just to refresh. This post definitely reminded me how good it is to be off for a while. Thanks

    www.beautiliciousd.blogspot.com

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    1. Indeed, we need more times of refreshing, especially during such an uncertain time. I'm glad my writing has resonated with you, and I hope you get to have a much deserved time off some time soon :") have a lovely week ahead!

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  8. Spending one day offline a week sounds amazing! I have definitely fallen into that trap of literally being online 24/7. I don't even remember what life was like without this routine.

    And Anna Jo, your blog posts really do always sound so natural. Thanks for sharing.

    -M
    MEGHAN

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    1. It felt impossible for me at first to be honest especially in the setting that we have now.. I have to say though, that it has been quite draining. Life before this feels like a long time ago and all this feels like a dream.. I hope we all wake up from it soon. Before that happens though, we do what we can to cope and adapt to new ways of living.. and I find that one day off all the noise is much needed.

      Thank you so much Meghan for your kind words :") my heart is happy, and please know you've cheered me up on this day. Thank you for your time with me here.

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