Too much of THIS, ZAPS my Creativity

Screen-time + Creativity

While I don’t have the data or proof to back it up, I know for me “too-much” screen time sucks my creative well DRY….

Shifts in Routine + Getting away from the Screen

A few years ago I was working for the Canadian Cancer Society and June was the month when our Relay For Life events were held. Which meant long set up days, having to drive a cube van and back into awkward and tight spaces (this made me terribly anxious), hauling boxes up stairs onto the van and then off the van (and repeating the same process in reverse 24 hours later).....but it also meant a totally different work routine and being outside, both of which I LOVED and so appreciated.

Having this swap in my schedule and being mostly away from the screen always reinvigorated me, even though the work itself was physically tiring, sometimes stressful and often filled with emotional moments (if you've participated in one, particularly watching the Survivor's Lap and the luminary ceremony you'll understand why).

I’ve always known on some level that working with my hands and being away from the screen was more satisfying and fulfilling and yet I still gravitated towards positions - not just in work, but in volunteering that mostly involved the screen.

Even now with Revel, there’s a certain amount of screen work required (and optional) to create content, proposals and client work and preparing for workshops. And while I appreciate the efficiency and opportunities these screens offer me (and us), I also know I need to be mindful of how much time I spend near and behind them - for my own mental and creative health, among other reasons.

Here are some practices I put in place to help me do just that:

  • Choosing to host in person workshops and encourage the workshops to be mostly screen-free (that means no Powerpoint presentations and encouraging participants to keep phone use minimal).

  • Deleting social media apps off my phone on weekends (and honouring this 99% of the time).

  • Working it into my creative process where I do my brainstorming, outlining and drafting when creating content, away from the screen (with recording voice memos on my phone the exception to this "rule").

  • Questioning what screen use is essential and what’s not and not just defaulting to using it “because”.

  • Challenging myself to not take out my phone when waiting, whether I'm in line or waiting to meet up with a friend or client (I don’t always have the willpower to not give in, but it’s a practice). 

  • Purposely not sharing everything I make in my own creative practice on social media. This has been something I've wrestled with when it came to this year's #the100dayproject, as every other year I've participated I've actively shared daily. 

If you’re curious to learn more about and shifting your use of screen time, I encourage you to check out the Bored and Brilliant resources and book. I found the book to be really fascinating and helpful.

[NOTE: neither of these are affiliate links, just me sharing a resource that I've found to be beneficial on this topic].

Now, I'd love to hear from you. Do you notice if too much screen time impacts your imagination or creativity? What tips do you have to share on this topic?

Screentime and creativity and too much screentime and how it impacts creativity