Gadgets – Turn Them Off and Spark Your Creativity

Kittens and Gadgets

Gadgets and you – who’s in charge?

Gadgets. They’re everywhere in our lives today, and they serve very important functions.

What do our gadgets — our tablets and smartphones and smartwatches and laptops — do for us?

Well, for starters, they keep us connected, they bring us up-to-date information and they streamline lots of tasks. But they are also powerful  sources of distraction and ‘noise’ — and they can be real creativity-killers.

So today I want to share some facts, and then reflect on the benefits of taming your gadgets so that they serve you and don’t take over your time and your life. First, the facts:

  • According to an article on, “On average, people spend more than 490 minutes of their day with some sort of media, according to a new report by ZenithOptimedia. Television remains dominant, accounting for three hours of daily consumption—an hour more than the internet, in second place.” That’s projected to rise to 506 minutes per day by 2017.
  • Internet usage is going up, as you’d probably guess. 13% of average daily media use was on the internet in 2010, and it’s projected to hit nearly 30% by 2017.
  • According to an article from (Independent regulator and competition authority for the UK communications industries) online time has doubled in the past decade. Here are some telling stats they offered on the social media front:
    • The use of social media has tripled since 2007, when Ofcom first asked people about their social media habits. Nearly three quarters (72%) of internet users aged 16 and above say they have a social media profile, compared to 22% in 2007.
    • Some 81% of social media users log into these websites or apps – including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram or Tumblr – at least once a day, up from 30% in 2007.
    • Social media has seen the biggest growth among 35-44 year olds, with 80% of internet users in this age group now on social media, up from just 12% in 2007.
    • 2014 saw a dramatic surge in older people using social media, with nearly half (49%) of 55-64 year olds who go online having a social media profile, up from one third (33%) in 2013.

The figures are undeniable and daunting. Most of us are spending more and more time on-line. And that has a huge impact on our focus, our attention spans, and yes, on our creativity. So what can you do about it?

Taming Your Gadgets

Notice when you’re turning to your gadgets.

Observe your habits. When are you most likely to check your phone? How much time do you spend watching TV? When do you ‘lose’ time on the internet? Simply observing (without judgment or self-criticism) helps you get a handle on your habits. Make a list of everything you observe.

Review and rank your list.

Review your list with an eye to discovering the biggest time wasters on it. Rank the items starting with number 1 (that being the biggest time thief).

Step away from your biggest time thief.

As with any habit change, the key here is to start small so you don’t set yourself up for failure. Review your list and pick the biggest culprit that is also relatively easy for you to let go of. Commit to let go of this time-waster and document how you feel about it as you move forward.

Turn your gadgets off for a set time every day.

Having gotten some practice with letting go, you’re now ready to give yourself the gift of some significant silence. This is where you begin to reconnect with yourself and your creativity – which needs space and quiet to flourish in all its uniqueness!

So go ahead and choose a time of day and a set duration for taking a break from all of your gadgets. Pay attention to how you feel as you do this. What is challenging, and what blossoms?

And don’t stop here. Keep working to stretch a little – extending the timeframe once you’re comfortable with it. Let me know how this goes for you – I’d love to hear!



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