Less. Better.

What happens when no connectivity is possible? Think about moments when your phone is dead, when you are traveling and there is no Wi-Fi, or when you simply left your device home. What do you do then?

Scott Belsky, co-founder of Behance and writer of Making Ideas Happen, explains the negative effects of what he calls The Reactionary Flow:

In an era of mobile devices, instant connectivity, and automated mailing lists and notifications, it is all too easy for people to contact us. As a consequence, we live our lives just trying to keep our heads above water. Our ability to prioritize and control our focus is crippled by an unyielding flow of incoming communication: email, texts, tweets, Facebook messages, phone calls, and so on (and on).

Amidst the research for my upcoming book on extremely productive creative people and teams, I have found that the “uber productive” actively develop methods for defying this new and dangerous trend. They impose discipline on themselves and set up blockades when necessary. And, most importantly, they have a “separation of church and state” philosophy for communications and actionable stuff.

Proactively blocking out time for creating – rather than just responding – is a key tactic of productive creatives.

Disconnected moments are highly creative and productive. There is no space for incoming communications to appear. This lets you focus on whatever task you are doing and helps to reduce the flow. The less you interact, the smaller will be the flow that you get back. Also, just the fact of not having a device in our hands allows our brain to better think—as happens when you are in the shower, running, or falling asleep in bed.

Try to make those moments happen without having to travel or drain your phone's battery: Set your phone to airplane mode; Switch it off; Go to a place with no Wi-Fi connection; Set times for no interaction. Disconnect.

December 11, 2013