Give yourself time to think

cell phone on the beach

I came across an article a couple days ago, ironically enough through a Twitter feed, that made me think a little more about my creative process and the space in which I do it.

For decades now, people have been fighting for the preservation of natural spaces, and so they should. The loss of our natural surroundings is something that must never be taken lightly, and those who can should certainly fight for it. But, is there another space that we’re losing that is not as noticeable these days?

What happened to Downtime? The Extinction of Deep Thinking & Sacred Space (

As Scott Belsky suggests, we are slowly but surely losing hold of the few remaining spaces that are untouched or unconnected to Twitter, Facebook and so many other constant pulls to our attention. Although not directly a vegan issue, I think it is something that everyone should consider.

For example, even while I write this, I’ve been pulled to my inbox to read a couple emails, I’m listening to music on headphones, having a conversation on Skype, following my Twitter feeds through a desktop app (Echofon for those interested), keeping track of contributors and advertisers in Excel, marking off things with a to-do list app, writing copy for clients, communicating notes from meetings to other team members and just generally working. Sure, I’m in an office space where such connectivity should be expected, but this ability to multi-task to the point of confusion is slowly but surely finding its way into every part of our world, including those sacred natural spaces that have been preserved from other attacks.

Am I just moaning and groaning about something that I should embrace and roll with? Or am I embracing it too much and getting caught-up in a system I can simply choose to unplug? The panic I have when I do go for a period without checking my email, Twitter, Facebook and other things tells me that unplugging completely may not go so well, but the anxiety that sometimes visits me when I see a new email in my inbox suggests that I need to find a happy medium.

Of course, if I don’t figure this out soon, the answer may already be decided for me. So, perhaps we all need to claim a day, or perhaps a designated space, where we can disconnect. A space that will allow each and everyone of us to simply be. However you do that is up to you, and there are plenty of people and materials to offer up suggestions on the best way, but the point is simply doing it.

Go for it. Unplug yourself for five minutes. Either right now, today, tonight, tomorrow or this weekend. Five minutes.

Better yet, give yourself 4’33’ right now:

  1. Beany von Doom wrote: Mar. 23, 2011

    I hear ya, man! I don’t even have a cellphone/blackberry/iphone and I still feel overwhelmed by this oftentimes. When I’m home, I like to put the ol’ internet down for a few hours each day and TRY not to wiki things if I can’t think of them myself. Sometimes I like to look back and picture myself in the mid-80s in elementary school when all the kids were working on something and note the quiet. Then I consider that a similar situation wouldn’t exist in N.America now. All the kids have phones. In elementary school! This isi just so weird for me. All of this will seem totally normal to this generation and that saddens me to no end.

    I have a few friends who are NOT running a business, blog or any online venture who absolutely cannot have a conversation or hangout time without their iphones. It really grosses me out. I wish I could say “phones away kids, this is IRL right now.” But alas.

    On another note, I took some paper and a pencil to capture thoughts I had during my trek to the grocery store last night so I could tweet about them later 😉

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