A couple of weeks ago I went to see an aquatic inspired dance performance called Flow at the Print Room in Westbourne Grove. The dancers weaved, flowed, interconnected and disconnected in and around each other through the watery, tech-enabled set. The performance was choreographed to challenge our perceptions and behaviours around water.
Flow is important in work and life: it comes when I’m focusing and thinking freely. And when I’m daydreaming. Increasingly, social media and communication channels are dividing my time, attention and energy. I sometimes find that this *white noise* can dislodge or disrupt creative thought, focused thinking and flow.
Last March I took a social media holiday for a month, *coming off* Twitter, Facebook and Linked in. Yes, I missed it. Yes, I felt I wasn’t as ‘in the loop’. But what it did do was give me head-space in my life that I have found it hard to experience since. It was the simple life. It was much more manageable and it was bliss. But, life called and being hyper connected to others makes me tick. So, I’ve been back again using those sites.
They absolutely enrich my life, but they also alter the way I think and behave. My concentration diminishes. I start to think in fragments of 140 characters, snippets and soundbites, rather than longer-term strategic thought. Recently I’ve been experimenting with four new ways to maintain flow and focus:
• I’ve become hyper-aware of my environment – if it’s not working for me I try and change it. 2 weeks ago I left work and went to the pub to brainstorm and sketch 45 new business ideas. It was magic.
• I break my work down into chunks of time where I commit to focusing on one task, free of interruptions. This is a real challenge – especially if I’m working with others.
• I use Ommwriter and other tools to change and adapt my digital interactions as well as limit social media to a few times a day.
• I’m taking time out and daydreaming more – letting my mind wander it’s own natural course. Being in flow is freeing. Like being in water, it’s full of twists and turns, unexpected sensations, thoughts and experiences.
Twitter: @SenseWorldwide / @lauramelissawil