People all over the world sit down every single day, search their entire lexicon for the right words, and then place those words in a unique order to create content that can be funny, informational, hurtful, scary, startling, and interesting. To be sure, the use of technology has helped to improve writing over time. Word processors can not only spellcheck work, but also grammar check, or even analyze for the overuse of certain words and the flow of sentences. But sometimes, that same technology can become a hindrance.
When technology hurts
People are now able to contact one another immediately 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, from all over the world. Messages that used to take months to be delivered can now arrive instantaneously. This has left many people with constantly dinging technology – text messages, phone calls, Facebook notifications, emails, and more can take up more time than we’re willing to admit.
Disconnecting can also be an exercise for our brains! It can be so easy to just look something up, and sometimes that is totally necessary for us to create our best work. However, it is sometimes better to hold off on turning to the Internet and instead of letting our own minds mull over an idea for a bit.
Visual and mental exhaustion
Staring at a bright screen is (not shockingly) very unnatural for our brains and eyes. It is proven that human brains process information differently when reading from a screen, and it’s not fantastic for the eyes either. While most vision specialists do not associate screen time with long-term vision damage, it is widely agreed that time away from the screen can be beneficial
How to disconnect
It’s likely not realistic to set aside entire unplugged days but do set aside chunks of time where you disconnect. Take half an hour or an hour to completely disconnect – sit alone with a pen and paper and brainstorm, think, play around with your thoughts. Put your electronics away from you – hidden from sight, or even better, out of the room if you can. Studies show that when people know their electronics are in the room with them, they are far more distracted than when they are not.
Set your hours
Part of disconnecting is learning when to quit too. As a writer, you probably know how easy it is to end up on that never-ending content development train. Or answering client/work emails well after working hours are over. This is a one-way ticket to burnout town. Give yourself some guidelines and follow them.
Turn off certain channels
Consider avoiding certain areas of technology while you’re working. For instance, do you need access to Instagram or Facebook for your job? If so, try to limit it to only the times when you’re specifically working on content for those channels. Otherwise, log out, turn off notifications, and set them aside. Release your mind from technology by avoiding unnecessary connectivity whenever possible.
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