I was thinking about how distracted I've felt lately, always keeping up with various streams of information (RSS, Twitter, Facebook etc.) when I saw this tweet (ironic, yes) from Jeff Sage:
Many have written about the double edged sword of technology and the fine line we walk between increased creativity and mental overload. Paul Miller is taking a year-long Internet vacation and has been sharing his thoughts on the Verge. Nick Wynja at Hack / Make has been writing about mental discipline and focus.
I recently read Jonah Lehrer's book Imagine about creativity and how it works. Controversy aside, I thought he raised some good questions about how we become more creative. Managing distraction and allowing our minds to be heard is a large part of the process. Filling up our quiet moments with input and stimulation means that our conscious minds aren't available to pick up our subconscious stirrings.
After seeing Jeff's tweet, I responded with:
Jeff being the academic nerd that he is, replied with:
I don't know much about John Stuart Mill other than what I learned about him in philosophy, but I certainly agree with him there. I've been missing a part of my self lately because I've been so caught up in what others have to say. I've felt the pull of the Twitter timeline, the need to get through my entire Instapaper queue or catch up with a backlog of podcasts.
I haven't posted here as much as I'd like to, primarily because I haven't felt like I have much to say. I think that's because I haven't been able to hear the tiny voice in the back of mind that tells me what is important and thus, what to write about.
I'm not going to go as far as Paul Miller and disconnect from the Internet completely, but I am going to make an effort to not keep up with all my channels by turning off notifications and forcing myself to avoid idly checking feeds. I'm going to find some discipline to focus on what is important to me and try to enhance my creativity.
We'll see how it goes.