There was a time last year when I took some time off from social media because it sucked the life out of me and I’m thinking of doing it again. Except, social media is currently my only effective way for me to promote this blog. So what to do? I think I’ll have to schedule social media time just like a regular appointment for myself. Maybe 15 minutes in the morning and 15 minutes in the afternoon? Do you think this works? I’ll find out. The reason I’m going on somewhat of a hiatus again is because the phone sucks again. It’s sucking time. And of course we never have enough of that.
If I would time myself every time I look at my phone, that would probably add up to at least an hour a day. That’s a big chunk of wasted time. But time is not the only reason why I want to get my eyes off the flickering screen. I want to live my OWN life more to really see where it takes me with all of my senses.
The article I read (by Jackie Mulligan) pretty much nailed it: “The flicker of the phone screen is addictive. It calls to many of us, telling us that we’re missing out, that something important may be going on and that we may be needed. But if all our time is consumed by the relentless catching up on the urgent and the trivial, we lose the incubation time [of creativity] and miss out on our own status updates or our own best ideas.”
Yes, we need to let our minds wander to give it time to be and stay creative. We need to just let ourselves be our own self and not constantly try to forge it into something that we want to be.
Why are we so obsessed with what’s going on in other people’s life? We scroll, tap, like, and comment on moments of their lives, oftentimes envying the places they’re at, the food they’re eating, or the fun they’re having. And then we sigh, and wish we could do all those fun things. Well, we could – if only we looked around and noticed the fun and beauty in our own lives. Without feeling the need to share it online.
Your life is full of amazing moments and if you don’t lift your eyes, you’ll miss it!
This line from the movie “August Rush” comes to my mind: “Music is all around us. We just have to listen.”
It’s about being aware of your surroundings. Not just hearing, but listening. Being mindful.
A few days ago, I was coming out of our garage (doing laundry) and as I walked to the house the warmth of the sun on my skin felt so good, so I stood there for a minute and just closed my eyes. Enjoying the warmth, listening to the wind in our trees. I wanted to just grab a chair and sit down. Why didn’t I? Because I had a basket full of laundry in my arms and was in the middle of housework. And that’s exactly my problem.
I have the hardest time doing nothing. If I’m at home I can’t just sit for an hour and relax because my mind doesn’t wander off – it races! It runs errands in my head and whenever I have free time, I wonder and plan what to do next to fill that time. On some days I should probably take a nap, but then I can’t go to sleep because again: I have a hard time shutting off my brain during the day. So lately I am realizing what my husband has been trying to tell me for a while now:
I need to learn to do nothing.
Doing nothing and letting your brain rest is important for our creative battery. I bet that you’re just like me and had some of your best ideas while taking a shower. Am I right? That relaxing feel of the warm water streaming down your face does something more than wash your skin. It washes the clutter from your mind. So taking the time to let your mind wander and not do anything productive for a while actually creates a boost for your creativity production. Your OWN creativity – not that of your Facebook friends or your Instagram feed. Which is not to say that there’s no need for inspiration. I guess that’s a fine line of distinction… But you can’t deny that coming up with your own ideas and putting them into action feels much greater than copying someone else’s.
Speaking of someone else’s ideas… this may look like a foot-in-mouth situation now, as I’m pulling quotes from other writers! However I’m writing this post because I felt inspiration from others to foster my own creativity.
The benefits of being unproductive for a while are very similar to those of meditation, which is the ultimate doing “nothing”. I have not tried meditating but maybe I should. Meditation doesn’t have to sound strange or “hippie”. It can be as simple as being still in the moment and focusing on your breathing. You can do this while you’re taking a break at work, or when you’re laying in bed at night. Sometimes a 5-minute meditation can bring yourself back together when you’ve had a rough conversation or a bad day. I should try that instead of my usual glass of wine after the kids are in bed! It may work better for my iPhone/social media hiatus since I can’t look at the phone when my eyes are closed during meditation!