I’m sure you’ve sat down at the computer before, one simple, five-minute task in mind, only to come out of a groggy internet fog an hour later with your kids clamoring for attention. Your task may not even be finished and, even worse, the precious few moments of down time you had are now gone. You want more time for creativity, and you need to use the internet simply to get life done, but it’s such a distraction! As technology permeates ever more corners of our lives are we allowing it to be a creative drain?
Recently I was starting to feel lousy and unable to focus. I knew needed some limits around technology, but “don’t use the computer or phone” wouldn’t work. Eventually, I realized, it’s pretty simple. I just need one question to keep technology from destroying my creativity:
What is my intention?
Every time I go to look at a screen I stop myself to ask this.
And I cringe to admit, I have found myself answering things like: “I’m bored.” Or “…Uhhh, I don’t know…” Oh my gosh! I crave time to myself and I am fiddling it away when I have it!
By asking myself what my intention is, I better utilize my time online. I know I have a tendency to get distracted, so sometimes I’ll write down my intention to help keep me focused. When my intention is something like “socializing” or,“finding kids’ activities,” I try to remember to look at the clock before I begin and give myself the amount of time I can afford to give.
Technology can foster incredible creative work, inspiring connections, and support networks that you simply cannot find locally. It can also be a time suck and creative drain, but it doesn’t have to be. Keep asking, “What is my intention?” and you’ll find more time to allow your creativity to shine.
Alissa Marquess is a homeschooling mom to three kids. She blogs about creating with, for, and in the midst of children at Creative With Kids. Her intention before getting on the computer this evening was to finish writing this article…done!