Right now I’m sitting in a coffee shop on a Saturday morning with almost no agenda. I have plenty to do, but I’ve decided to only do stuff for the next three hours that isn’t related to work. One of those things was to read my friend’s book.
Yet, in the corner of my mind, I’m constantly thinking about what I could use for a quote, or thoughts I could tweet, or anything that I could publish somewhere.
It’s like a digital version of ADHD.
Is anyone else feeling this? With the addition of Google+, there is a growing need each day to need to publish something to people who (presumably) are interested in what I think. Then there’s Facebook, Twitter, blogs to read, newsletters, emails to respond to, and even this blog post. All of these things make the weight of having to produce something heavier each moment.
Because of this pressure to create more and more on platforms that aren’t my own, I find myself doing the opposite and publishing less across the board. My Twitter account has taken a nosedive in tweets in the past few months. Facebook? Fahhhget about it. I’m barely able to hang on with Google+ as it is. (It’s my favorite of the three, but that’s beside the point.)
One thing I have noticed, though, is that when I start my day with my laptop closed, things become more clear. When I start by reading words on paper and writing ideas with a pen on actual paper, my thoughts take a more structured and full shape. They’re able to stand on their own, and they’re much clearer.
This is how the medium helps shape the message. I can’t toggle between screens, I can’t switch gears. I have to focus on what I’m writing, one letter at a time. My thoughts slow down, and I’m calmer.
Anyway, that’s how I’ve helped counter this nagging pressure to create fragments and focus on more important things. It’s a real problem for those who have to create daily, and it’s only going to get worse.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on how you’re combating this. What techniques do you use?
Thumbnail by Nina Matthews Photography
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