In the past, a new e-mail gave us a rush.
Every few minutes we’d press the magic button to see if there was a new message in our inbox. Why? A new message was like a prize delivering a heady dose of dopamine. That e-mail made us feel great, if only for a moment.
While we might still check our e-mails faithfully, most of us are hooked on the social media drug. Now the rush comes with each new comment, retweet or Facebook like.
If we’re not careful, soon we’ll be spinning endlessly in the social media circle of death. Check the e-mail. Refresh Twitter. Review the Facebook news feed. Did anyone follow-up with our comments or texts? On and on it goes. By the time we’ve made our way through the list we’re starting the process again.
The cure is to create and be active. Rather than review everything again, take the knowledge acquired in the fist go-round and write a blog post about your ideas or take on a topic that interests you. Create a video explaining your thoughts. Write 500 words for your book. Take a photo walk.
If you are not in a creative mood, turn off your computer, tablet or smart phone. Get away. Your mind needs time to process information and ideas. Within minutes of turning off the electronics, new ideas will come your way. Apply those ideas to your online life, work, family and play.
Make sure you have an easy way to take notes as ideas come to you. Springpad, Evernote or a paper notebook are all fine choices. The next step is to take action on your new ideas. You still need to communicate using your digital tools of choice, but make sure you only cycle through once and get back to thinking, work, family or play.