While conducting a workshop on Motivation recently, one of the participants noted he read an article about how our mobile devices are essentially diminishing our ability to be creative. Even worse than this, these devices also appear to be slowly robbing us from one method which helps us to be motivated…daydreaming.
When I started researching more on this topic, I came across an article written last year by John Long who is the Group Creative Director at Ogilvy. He noted that “researchers at the University of Central Lancashire, Penn State University and the University of California, Santa Barbara have all concluded basically the same thing: that it’s not until we’re bored that we tap into our subconscious, and begin to make unusual or unexpected connections.” However, think about it. When you are even slightly bored, what is one of the first things you do? My bet is you reach for your mobile phone or some other type of electronic device to entertain you.
Since I fall into a category professionally which I need to tap into my creative side on a daily basis to do the type of work I do, I have to be highly conscious about limiting my own screen time. This of course takes discipline, but when I am disciplined about doing this, my results are far better, and my creativity soars during these time periods.
Whether or not you are concerned about how your creatively is being impacted by your screen time may or may not be a priority for you. However, independent of the type of work you do, everyone needs to be creative at some point during their day, and there are many benefits to exercising your creativity. Here are some reasons why reducing your screen time can help you to be more creative.
- When you are allowing your mind to think of or do creative things, you are tapping into a part of your brain which when you are staring at your mobile device for hours, does not have a chance to flex its ability to be creative.
- Focusing on doing anything creative, especially if the type of work you do requires immense focus, can help you to be better at the task requiring your hyper focus.
- There are many different types of creative work you can do (e.g., drawing, singing, writing, juggling, cooking) to name some of them, and when you do anything of these creative tasks for a short period of time, it is far more beneficial to your overall mental health versus spending more time staring at your phone.
- Putting down your electronic devices and doing something creative can involve being creative with other people. You do not have to do creative work alone. In fact, it can be more fun to do creative work with other people.
- The more time you allow yourself to flex your creative muscles, the better you will become at that activity, and there is a chance you will want to spend more time doing this activity versus spending that time on your mobile device.
Don’t succumb to allowing your mobile device or other electronic gadgets you favor, to rob or deny you of your creativity ability. Everyone has the ability to be creative, and you have so much more to contribute professionally and personally when you are doing something which is creative.
So, challenge yourself to put down your phone and either take a few minutes to daydream, or do something which would be considered creative. You actually might surprise yourself by how much you enjoy doing this. Best of all, you will begin to build back up your creative brain muscles.
Kathleen E. R. Murphy is the Founder, Chief Performance Strategist and CEO of Market Me Too. She is a Gallup Certified Strengths Finder Coach, author of Wisdom Whisperer, and is a well-respected motivational and social influencer with a global following from her numerous speaking, print, radio and television media appearances.
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