True story…I was once pulled over for checking my email while rolling through an intersection by a motorcycle cop who was watching me the whole time. Not a proud moment. I wrote about it and what I began to learn that day here.
I love me some technology and all the connection and expression it allows for…but as I turn the page on this new year, I have been questioning my relationship with it as it relates to creative work. Here is what I’m owning up to. I took a recent inventory and so far my best creative ideas and work have emerged from the following circumstances:
- While putting a physical pen to a piece of physical paper
- While walking outside…especially in nature
- Cliche…but while taking a shower; it works!
- In focused conversation (including with my 1 year old)
- During my micro-morning meditation practice (7 minutes: just long enough to feel a few breaths moving in and out of my body and just short enough to not be able to justify not doing it)
It’s so hard sometimes because the computers and phones most of us use to express our creativity are the very same tools that can take us to lands of distraction and numbness so far from where we started; we can put ourselves in danger of never returning to the work. I know this is not true for everyone but it is for me.
I am not big on rules and resolutions but have been experimenting this new year with some intentions. I share these two simple ones in case they may inspire you to investigate some that work for you:
1) Un-smarting my phone: there is something about email that all too often triggers that ‘what’s new, who needs me, what should I be worrying about’ response that takes me out of the moment and ups my stress levels. So I have been experimenting with taking email off my phone the last few weeks, and am ready to commit this year. It’s truly a pain sometimes but the freedom has been (and I expect will continue to be) worth it.
2) Internet free mornings and evenings: I do my best creative work in the morning and I’ve noticed that when I allow myself to get pulled into what is happening in the outside world first thing, the distance to travel back to my creative work can be prohibitively long. So I’m shortening the journey and taking myself offline until I’ve put in an hour of creative time at the start of my day and turning it all off again at 9pm. This gives me back my most productive time and helps me avoid that “twired” state before bed.
In the words of Iaian Thomas: “Every day, the world will drag you by the hand, yelling, “This is important! And this is important! And this is important! You need to worry about this! And this! And this!” And each day, it’s up to you to yank your hand back, put it on your heart and say, “No. This is what’s important.”
I am certain I will not always live up to these intentions but it sure makes it real to write them down. If you have any such boundaries (or lack thereof) that are working for you send them my way. We’ll be discussing some of this and many other creative breakthrough optimizing strategies at ONE BOLD THING 2018: an online workshop to support you in getting your creative project done this year. These two online hours will be full of clarifying exercises, inspiration and some hard-earned learnings I really can’t wait to share, to help you get clear and take action. It’s a bargain $30 (some of which is going to an amazing cause) if you sign up before January 19th! You can learn more HERE.
In love and boldness,