Cell phones have become essential tools for our daily lives. There is no denying that mobile devices today play an important part in the way interact and communicate. Cell phones and other mobile devices have become an integral part of our life. Like a coin, cell phones have two sides too. One is the advantages such as better communication, functioning, and access to a huge amount of useful and free data. The second side though is a little grim, one of the major consequences of mobile phones is that they make us distracted and decrease our concentration levels. I am not going to be ranting about the disadvantages of the mobile phones for the whole blog, I would rather talk about the root cause of distractions here which are not cell phones (they are just a way to distract ourselves) but the real culprit here is our brain and then at the end, I would offer you a way to rediscover your lost creativity (if you think that you have somehow lost it).
Our brain is programmed in such a way that it is a professional sucker for pleasurable things. Pleasurable situations mean the situations that make us happy for example, eating something tasty, watching something beautiful, etc. These pleasurable activities/ situations release dopamine which is also called “The Happy hormone”. The dopamine makes us happier every time it is released in our bodies. You might be wondering that how could distraction be a pleasurable situation. Well to understand this, we must talk about “The Novelty Bias”.
The Novelty Bias states that our brains crave something new. Finding something new triggers a similar effect in our brain to eating something new, it releases dopamine in our body and makes us happier. It also states that we are more motivated to learn/ experience something new and show more interest in it. Whenever we are procrastinating on our mobile phones we are also trying to experience something new (whether be it a person to talk to, a new video to watch, a new meme, or the recent trend in various niches like technology and fashion). And the technology in returns provides us with a lot of new trends, ideas, news, etc so it is natural for our brain to seek more time with smartphones. So, it is safe to assume that we are not just distracted but are overstimulated by smart-phones.
How limiting phone usage and distractions could help you rediscover your creativity?
We have talked enough about the distractions and why our brains crave it so badly. Now, let us talk about how reducing distractions could help us rediscover our creativity. When you reduce the distractions, there is nothing new to experience for your brain. But we still crave that dose of dopamine so, our mind starts wandering to discover something new. As J.R.R Tolkien also in “The Lord of the Rings” said, “Not all those who wander are lost”. This way our brains start thinking about new ideas since creating new ideas is now the only way for our brain to experience something new. Well for starters, this is what creativity sounds like. So, when you are sitting alone with no distractions, let the mind wander and you will see the new ideas flowing.
Boredom is the mother of creativity. When you are bored, you have nothing to new to experience (Nothing to satisfy your brain’s craving for distraction). That is when your creative muscles come into play and strive to find something new for you to experience. So, let yourself be bored sometimes. Take technological fasts and experience a disconnection ritual of some sort with no distractions at all every once in a while. Allow yourself to sit sometimes and do nothing at all and you will be shocked by your mind’s creativity.
An idea for “Creative Week” for super motivated people:
For a Creative week, minimize your phone usage to less than 1 hour per day, even less if possible for up to a week. Remember 1 hour includes everything from checking your emails, social accounts to calling your mother and significant other. Try this for a week, and let me know the results in the comments down below.