Working offline

I don't know anyone who works offline.

Whatever device you're reading this on right now, it's always online.

When online, there's always a hive of activity going on behind the app you're currently using; messages receiving, docs downloading, chats collecting, apps updating, reminders reminding, emails flying, calendars syncing, notifications sailing through! Four turtle doves…

It's always an excuse for that dopamine hit when a banner comes down, screaming; "NEW THING, NEW THING!"

The excitement is unmatched. Often compared to slot machines.

Working offline allows relief, knowing nothing can interrupt.

There will be no messages, documents, chats or Teams, updates, reminders, email, syncing, and no, notifications.

We want to be interrupted. Interruption used to mean importance. Interruption was someone desperately needing your attention.

Interruption is still important, however it is not digital interruption that feels best, it is physical interruption that feels best.[1]

Our devices are supposed to help us with this.[2]

There are so many links, movies, TV shows, books, articles, YouTube videos, and RSS feeds I've saved to see and read; I just don't have enough time to get through it all.

Being offline—having a static database of things I'd like to do—helps me focus.

Leaving the offline world is impossible when you're stuck in it. There aren't any notifications, no ability to research anything, find a tangent, or pursue any of the other thoughts that come to mind.

All I have at my disposal is what I've saved offline; and there's a lot of it to go through.

Once I've finished with everything I'd like to do offline, I can open the stream again and see what comes in.

Working offline makes computers feel physical again. It doesn't feel like this device reliant on a cloud to work. It's my small creative device.

Thinking about focus reminded me of a book I received from my father-in-law titled Stolen Focus, by Johann Hari. I've put it on my list for books I'd like to read this year, due to the chaos of the world towards December.[3]

  1. And worst, when you're trying to focus. ↩︎

  2. I'm reminded I should be using Focus Modes when I want to focus, but being offline feels much cooler. ↩︎

  3. I'm also reminded of both Digital Minimalism by Cal Newport, and OFF by Tanya Goodin, while writing this. ↩︎