Creative Kryptonite and the Death of Productivity

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Creative Kryptonite and the Death of Productivity

Great work, brilliant ideas, extraordinary art requires space.

Time away. Room to process, synthesize, allow connections between seemingly disparate parts to effervesce out of the ether of the mind.

Genius is the offspring of the in-between.

But, increasingly, technology is removing the in-between.

We don’t just walk in contemplation, we walk, talk and type.

We don’t just drive, we drive, talk and every time we stop the car, we check, tap and reply. Red lights, the bain of a life-long quest to get “there,” have now become a sought after opportunity to catch up on any communication that may’ve arrived since the last red-light…5 blocks ago.

But when we fill in all the organic in-betweens with texting, e-mailing, DMing and updating, we unintentionally kill the a critical step in the ideation process—percolation and contemplation—and along with it go creativity, innovation and despite your opposite intention, productivity.

So, why do we do it?

Filling in the in-between, we say, lets us get so much more done. Wrong.

Hyperconnectivity gives us the perception of getting more done, it makes us feel like we’re doing more, because we’re using every free moment of every waking hour.

There is often a huge chasm between being busy and being productive.

Hyperconnectivity requires a massive volume of switchtasking, which destroys true-productivity and efficiency because every time you page through your various modes of connectivity and respond to different prompts, you lose focus. To regain that focus requires a certain amount of time and cognitive effort.

Put another way, there is a ramping cost every time you switch gears, then return.

So when you spiral through every known mode of communication hundreds of times a day, you may be busy as hell, but you damn sure aren’t productive. At least nowhere near the level you could be. You’ve just created the illusion of productivity.

By the way, if you’re wondering if that’s you, here’s an easy test:

Next time someone asks what you did at the end of a day, if you know you were crazy busy but you can’t immediately pin-point a small number of substantially-meaningful accomplishments, critical insights or measurable forward movement…let alone recall any tasks beyond “oh I answered a lot of emails, put out fires and had a bunch of meetings…you’ve very likely fallen into hyperconnected lost-sock land.

All of which begs an even bigger question…

If hyperconnectivity really isn’t about efficiency and productivity, like we claim it is, what is it about?

Two things:

1. An insanely addictive phenomenon called intermittent reinforcement.

Intermittent reinforcement is a behavioral pattern where repeated reinforcement of a behavior over times programs your brain to crave more and more opportunities to express that behavior. It mirrors addiction and, in fact, may well trigger chemical dopamine releases in the brain quite similar to those triggered through chemical addictions.

In the context of mobile notifications, Kevin Hoffman described it beautifully:

Every time your phone vibrates to alert you of the possibility of something interesting, exciting, or even mundane (but new) – your brain is getting what psychologists call a “Dopamine squirt”. Over time, your brain links the phone vibration, ring, or the “new SMS” tone to a brief release of dopamine. You feel this tiny little rush of excitement that feels like adrenaline every time your phone vibrates, jingles, rings, or otherwise begs for your attention. Since this is dopamine we’re talking about, you actually suffer mild withdrawal symptoms when you are away from your phone or your phone is idle/quiet for a long period of time. You get fidgety, anxious, bored, etc.

Intermittent reinforcement annihilates will.

Hyperconnectivity has become one of the purest forms of intermittent reinforcement ever to exist. Which is a bit horrifying, because in addition to pulling us away from activities and relationships we claim to hold dear and degrading “real” productivity, it all but eliminates the opportunities for disconnection that are crucial in the creation of great art, business and life.

But, that’s not all…

2. Enter the Zeigarnik Effect.

I’ve written about this before in the context of chronic non-finishers:

Legend has it, famed Russian and psychologist and researcher, Bluma Zeigarnik, was sitting at a café in Vienna when she noticed that her waiter could remember the details of a large order perfectly until that customer was served. Once served, the order literally vanished from the waiter’s memory.

Through further research, Zeigarnik discovered that people, in general, will remember the details of most any task until it is completed and then, remarkably, forget much of what unfolded. Moreover, once begun, there is an underlying psychological drive to complete the task.

So, between the process of remembering what needs to be done and enduring the constant tug to bring a task to completion, every unfinished task stakes a claim to a small piece of our memory and short-term cognitive abilities.

It stands to reason, then, that the more we begin and the less we finish, the more chronically occupied our minds become. Beyond feeling stressed, frazzled and overwhelmed, this can also lead to impaired thinking, problem-solving and creativity. Not the most pleasant state in the world.

What Zeigarnik also discovered is that once a loop has been opened (a task or conversation begun), we become increasingly compelled to complete it. It creates an urge, a pull, to finish what was started.

How does this relate to hyperconnectivity, productivity and creativity?

Simple. Every time we begin a conversation by text, email, twitter, Facebook or Google+, it’s like we’re opening a new loop. One that, until completed, compels us to want to finish the conversation. To keep checking and responding until the loop has been closed.

Problem is, in a hyperconnected world…the loops never close.

And if they ever do, the space created is instantly filled by countless new loops that overlap and stack like an eternally-thickening linguistic lasagna, consuming the mental juices needed to do great work, create genius, divine solutions and get stuff done.

Along the way, we eviscerate both the downtime needed for insight and the consistent focus needed to accomplish much more than being busy.

Indeed, left unchecked…

Hyperconnectivity has become a form of productivity decimation and intermittent creative destruction.

Question is…what are you going to do about it?

 

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73 responses

73 Responses to “Creative Kryptonite and the Death of Productivity”

  1. Nathan says:

    Interesting that I see this post today, just 5 minutes after someone shared this video with me:

    http://www.wemissyou.de/

    You’re absolutely right, and I don’t know what to do about it, other than spend more time preventing the opening of new connections, which at the same time feels like a regression to an insular world.

    Something to meditate on.

  2. PJ Kaiser says:

    Excellent post, Jonathan – this has been a big topic for me recently as I felt myself at times heeding the pull of Twitter, Facebook, Email, etc. and neglecting my creative work. I recently read “Hamlet’s Blackberry” which delves into this subject in great depth. It’s convinced me to totaly unplug on the weekends and find a way to distinguish between my “plugged in” time and my “unplugged” time during the course of each day. It’s helped enormously. I turned off all alerts on my iphone as well. The lure of cyberspace is always there, but we have to find a way to manage it or else we would all live in virtual realities. You’ve done a great job of explaining the psychological concepts behind the need to unplug.

  3. I needed your post this morning, so much. I am very busy, and I am getting a lot done. But there isn’t enough space between my work efforts to let creativity flow.
    Going to lie on the floor and look at the ceiling of my office and listen to some music.
    Thanks!
    B

  4. Jane says:

    Guilty as charged. Feel it. Know when it’s happening. Hate it. Our brains are transforming.

    Interesting that one poster said he feared he’d regress into an inner world. But what did we do before, without all these distractions? Did we feel so much less connected than we do now? I doubt it. Many of our connections now are looser and less deep, which is okay for business building but not for our souls.

    • Maria says:

      Great post! I’m agreeing with what Jane said, ‘Many of our connections now are looser and less deep, which is okay for business building but not for our souls.’ I’m learning that it’s okay for me to unplug on the weekends and take time for myself. Thank you Jonathan and also to everyone who’s replied!

  5. Kaari says:

    I knew this in a general way, but I didn’t know there was science to back it up. Awesome! This is why I’ve resisted the push to multitask, why I don’t want a smart phone, why I check the phone when I remember to instead of all the time, and why I step away from the computer regularly. I thought my strong need for downtime was introversion, but apparently that’s not all it is.

    Thanks, this is really helpful!

  6. mark gordon says:

    Best intermitant stop light read i’ve had.

  7. Charles Tutt says:

    Our life: We’re born, we walk, we talk, we learn, we adapt to our surroundings. Do we think of our Mothers? How we got here? Do we think of our Fathers, their contribution to our Being?

    No, none of these. We’re here! We’ve arrived on this thing we call earth.

    We’re far too ‘infantile’ for this level of ‘thought’, as we know it. At this level it’s more a thing of ‘feeling’ and ‘sensing’ than anything else. Can anyone disagree with this?

  8. This is a fantastic article.

    I find myself feeling like a slave to technology, and I can feel my pulse accelerate and my neck muscles tensing up as I Tweet and FB and email. The impact on our productivity and creativity is huge. And I’m betting the impact on our health in the long term isn’t pretty, either.

    Have ever looked at Les Fehmi’s work on Open Focus? (attention, space) It doesn’t teach you how to manage your technology interruptions, but it does teach you how to access space and quiet, and to reset your nervous system by shifting away from this perpetual narrow, driven attention we get stuck in.

  9. Bam – right between the eyes. Not only did I need to hear this personally, but it applies directly to a new service offering I’m creating right now for clients.

    To answer your question at the end, I’ve modified a couple of things that have helped (not cured, mind you) this affliction:

    1. Work Offline mode in my email client. I can still reference email and calendar without the dopamine squirts of incoming messages.

    2. Disabled push notifications for email on my iPhone. Now, I only get emails when I choose to open the program.

    3. Set aside time each morning to meditate BEFORE diving into the world of connectedness, email, Twitter, Google+, etc.

    A habit that I need to get into is closing down my email program at night before closing the laptop. I’ve noticed the unintended dopamine squirts that come from the program when I first open up the laptop in the mornings. It’s hard to then ignore it and go about the creative process without first checking in.

    Thanks for the reminder that I need to put a lot more emphasis on improving in this area. Excellent pair of posts this week, J!

  10. For me it’s an ongoing tug-of-war between the creative/social possibilities of the shiny new technology, and the need for unplugging and downtime.

    The most sustainable solution is to design a working routine that includes downtime (meditation, walking, socialising off the grid), focused work (writing, painting, coding with email etc switched off/blocked) and exercise sandwiched in between connected times.

    And no Twitter in bed! ;-)

  11. gwyn says:

    Taking a break. Thanks!

  12. Ashley says:

    I cannot agree with you more. When we are plugged into our connections, I feel like I can loose hours of time…I am busy, but what have I accomplished? I read the feed and get sparks of ideas…but where do they go? On the contrary, plugging-in in public signals to everyone around you where the importance is. Are we truly saying our devices and the relationships we hold on them are more important than our relationships in the flesh?

  13. Milo says:

    Spot on as usual – I definitely relate to the ‘too many open loops’ problem.

    There seem to be a lot of people talking about taking digital sabbaticals at the moment, I wonder if it’s because we’re mid-way through the year and people are more conscious of time passing them by..

  14. Thanks Jonathan – Exactly why my laptop is closed and off unless I’m specifically working, and my email does not auto-feed to my droid.

  15. Great post, Jonathan. Glad somebody tweeted me here.
    You are absolutely correct- for years, I commuted from Charlottesville to Long Beach (by plane, but it necessitated a 99 minute drive). I was able to develop multitudes of new product/process ideas during that drive. (There was no radio service for most of that route- or unacceptable choices on the radio.) A decade later, when my commute was from DC to Charlottesville, the same applied. Now, with my GPS, radio service, cell phone, GPS, among many other distractions, my Sunday commute from DC to Philly involves so many other things to do, I rarely cogitate and create… (I was just thinking about that last weekend.)

  16. Robin Deacle says:

    In answer to your question, what are you going to do about it: turn off e-mail notification on all devices. One small step for (wo)man, one giant leap for productivity.

  17. Maybe not for this crowd so much, but I’ve seen people (we all have) who do everything they can to make sure that silence never has a chance to happen in their minds, because if it did, they would have to face a million realities about themselves they’re hiding from. They would be faced with the beginning realization that their life needs to change, which is too much to handle and so they shut out the silence with the endless noise of “busy-ness.”

    But if you don’t create an empty space within yourself, nothing truly creative or meaningful will grow within you. And when it does, it changes your life. Decide what you want.

    • Judy Martin says:

      Great article Jonathan.
      And Michael – couldn’t have said it better myself.
      From silence emerges creativity. But because of the hyper-connected world we live in, you must have a laser sharp awareness of the intended task. What is the immediate need? What’s the plan to make it happen? And finally what is the road to what I call “contemplative completion.”

      You can have a plan – but unless you’ve created the “white space” to make it happen without distraction – you’re sunk.

    • Jonathan Fields says:

      Powerful and very real observation, Michael. For some, the hyperconnectivity affords an all too convenient excuse to stay busy enough to not have to deal with what really needs dealing with.

  18. Jonathan.
    Oh, this was incredible! I just got back online, yesterday afternoon after our internet just poofed (!) for two days. (I got SO MUCH DONE!!)

    I was stressed about what I was missing, I wasn’t ready to be absent, and needed to finish researching a few details and facts! There was NO TIME to be off line!

    But, you know what happened? I condensed and re-wrote many plans of action, did a lot of chasing done missing notes and, maybe the most impressive and amazing- I wrote 4 whole posts that have been bouncing around in my head with no idea of how to put them down to appeal to “you” (anyone who may want to read them!) AND put down the shell of 3 more! I haven’t gotten this much done since I began in February.

    When I found Brian Meeks (Extremely Average) on Spin Sucks on day, I was laughing all day. His post “Social Media Stress Disorder by @extremelyavg” really got me. Now, it’s official!

    Thanks for sharing this, it’s great. What am I going to do? I’m going to turn it all off (once I start writing!!) and just write. These last couple of days rubbed my face in it! (But….I would have missed your post -gasp- if I hadn’t been here!) ~Amber-Lee

  19. I’m fascinated by this. I know hyperconnectivity has become an issue for me over the years, as it has for so many other people. With so much information out there, it’s so difficult to disconnect, and I’ve also seen my level of focus decrease with so much constant input.

    Also, I know that we tend to have more insights and aha! moments when we give our brian a break from being so connected, but man is it hard to disconnect and tell myself that it would be more productive to take my dog on a walk (without my iPod!) than it would be to sit at my desk and read all the blogs/books/articles I want to read, write all the words I want to write, stay connected on social media and do all those other things I feel like I have to do to be productive.

    Great post, Jonathan, as always!

  20. So timely, Jonathan! For me, it requires a constant reinforcement of “What’s Important, no REALLY Important – TO ME!”

    The sense of urgency imposed from the outside, calling my attention to be focused on what is important to someone else is something I’ve learned to resist by returning again and again to my center and asking what the next important (to me) thing is. And, learning how to let the rest fall away.

  21. Mary Ricksen says:

    What this enlightening post showed me was that memory is a fickle thing and it cn make one forget even the mundane! How does one work on improving memory. I can se myself forgetting an order before I placed it for a customer!
    Great blog!

  22. I was just about to go out on a run with the dogs and take my phone to have a business chat with a friend – now I won’t. Normally I never would. in fact I’ve been reveling in the time taking these dogs out to enjoy the sunsets over Manhattan Beach, the birds, the sun on my face and the smells in the air. I have nothing to focus on but my thoughts, the beauty around me and the dogs joyous at walking in the fresh air.

    The trick is disconnecting and putting systems in place to take away from this hyper-connectivity.

    And posts like yours to keep us on track.

    Nat

  23. Wm says:

    Awesome insight into today’s real-time “productivity” challenges. Well done, I really enjoyed this post.

  24. cory says:

    Thank you, Jonathan. That’s the most useful post I’ve read in some time. I don’t mind provoking a dopamine squirt in others today as I share, retweet, and email it, either. This is a squirt worth getting. Hang up and … breathe!

  25. Darren says:

    Hi,

    Great article. Aligns with a few other books I’ve been reading lately, namely Getting Things Done (which speaks to managing and closing off the loops you mentioned) and the Power of Engagement (it’s not the time you devote to tasks, it’s the quality of energy that counts). (Full disclosure, I am not affiliated with either of these.)

    I’m loving the idea of a digital sabbatical! Off to burn my iPod and sit in a cave…

    Thanks,

    Darren

    PS: can I take my PS3? Damn!

  26. meredith says:

    So we are all Pavlovian dogs? I’ve been called worse. I’ve also struggled with undiagnosed ADD since long before Social Media took over my life.

    But I’ll take this over the chronic depression I’ve had for years any day of the week, Mr. Fields. Sure, I worry about lack of productivity often, but I’m actually having fun these days. I may be an exception to the rule…it’s okay by me.

    • Jonathan Fields says:

      Funny enough, from a conditioned response standpoint, yeah, we’re not so different from dogs, lol

  27. Shaya says:

    Isn’t the question, as always, about time management? Hyperconnectivity, as you describe it, is a recreation – an activity that brings enjoyment – and like all recreational activities, it can take away from the other areas of our lives: work, down time, family time, etc.

    I don’t think hyperconnectivity in itself is a vice, but perhaps the inability to limit it is.

  28. Well, how about reverse positive reinforcement? Reward yourself every time you stop the addiction and actually achieve something useful and substantial and NOT hyperconnectivity as a reward either! Dieticians physicians and psychiatrists have and still use this and suggest that people who are trying to lose weight, stop smoking, other unhealthy or undesirable habits use it as well! I often wonder what would happen to this super connected generation if there was a world wide power outage for mobile devices and the Internet–how would we survive? It’s akin to using a candle instead of a electric light bulb! Unplug it all once in a while!

  29. zoe says:

    So much of this post struck a chord with me. I really liked the insight about being busy isn’t necessarily productive. There is so much ego attached to being busy and everybody walks around bragging about how busy they are. And checking emails, texts, etc is a way to keep up with the Joneses. What I realize is that i need to be more productive and less busy, in this hyper connected way. Thanks.

  30. Rich says:

    Interesting read for sure. Can’t help but think it works in the other direction as well – focused attention singles out the relevant from the noise. What’s at play here is our focus or lack there of no? Productivity or escape… dopamine or dollars.

  31. Mary Jane says:

    You nailed it. As always. I am guilty of this. The other day,I found myself on overwhelm, unable to think clearly to make a hard decision. Chasing my tail. I unplugged and went to the stable where I keep my mare. No cell phone reception or internet out there. I rode her alone in silence, savoring the rhythm of her movement and our deep connection. And that is when my answer came to me.

    I am so looking forward to your new book!

  32. I guess not going to buy a smartphone is what I am going to do about it. I’m using the huge Nokia 6310 at the moment. I already can’t stay away from my pc and laptop when at home so this post is a reminder for me to at least postpone buying a smartphone. Thanks!

  33. Eddie Yasi says:

    Excellent post, like many other commenters here I can relate to what you’re saying and ::TWITTER CHIRP:: whoops gotta go…

  34. Cathy Curtis says:

    Great post. I’ve been seriously worrying about this for a while now. I can’t even get through a couple of articles in the Sunday Times without wanted to check twitter on my Ipad. I used to be able to spend hours just reading. Now any more. There is no doubt in my mind that use of social technology is an addicition just like any other- drinking, shopping, eating…and it’s hard to break.
    I guess the first step in awareness, then the hard work begins.

  35. So true. I have had internet pages since the days of Netscape 1, but not until my book was published did I have to get on twitter, facebook, WordPress, have an author homepage, and join several on-line author sites. Now I don’t seem to have time for writing (except blogs.)

  36. Adele Jackson says:

    Fantastic post thanks Jonathan. I’ve shared it on Facebook with my friends and I’m personally going to try going off-line more frequently – especially on the weekend. Very thought provoking !

  37. Brandy says:

    Ho my gosh. That’s fascinating. Hmm. What am I going to do about it?

    I think I’ve been aware of this phenomenon in my life without having a name for it. For me, Sabbath is essential. I don’t necessarily unplug (maybe I should) but I do let go of my to-do list and let it be a day that is not measured by accomplishments. It’s a start, I guess.

    I also try not to fill the empty space . . . all the time.

    Thanks Jonathan, you’ve given me a lot to think about.

    • David Lapin says:

      Your mention of Sabbath is so interesting, Brandy. As an orthodox Jew I do unplug for at least 25 hours on the Sabbath. I could not live without it!

  38. moonfire says:

    thanks Jonathan, best post of yours I’ve read so far. Recently I’ve entere the social network world and operation of it, and have been alarmed at the time it can consume. Balance remains my beingness.

  39. David Lapin says:

    So many people identify with these symptoms. We have to create frequent “sanctuaries in time” that are inviolate and have the courage to disconnect from technology during times we need to connect to anything deep and meaningful. In our workshops I prefer people to turn off their phones etc and stop to check for emails and messages every 15 mins if necessary, rather than have longer chunks of time with their phones on – even if they’re on “silent”. If we can’t lead our iPhones and Blackberries (providing the boundaries within which they operate) how can we lead people?

  40. [...] I read a great blog post by Jonathan Fields titled “Creative Kryptonite and the Death of Productivity“. The basic point of the article is that in today’s hyperconnected world, it is far too [...]

  41. David Lapin says:

    I have quoted from Jonthan’s article and suggested some ideas for remedy in http://leadbygreatness.com/disconnect-in-order-to-reconnect.

  42. reese says:

    Been thinking about this in relation to your upcoming book, too.

    Maybe it’s correlated with the dopamine fix, but there’s a ‘certainty’ that comes from the email/social media/instant contact stuff that you don’t get when you dig into a more invested, creative, time-consuming project.

    If I’m creating in a void, I may be passionately behind what I’m doing, but when it’s such a solitary act over a long period of time, uncertainty kicks in. Easier to go over to twitter and ‘get a hit’ than hunker down further to finesse my creation. To create in the deep, in the quiet, is an act of courage & strength when your brain is accustomed to laser-fast feedback on the comm channels.

    • Jonathan Fields says:

      So true, killer observation. In fact it’s a perfect example of something I call certainty anchors in the book and I think that it a part of why we tend to run increasingly to those little blips of digital concrete the deeper into the creative process we get.

  43. emma says:

    This post is one of my favorites you’ve ever written. It is profound, depressing and insightful. It’s also a great slap upside the head and an affirmation in support of the times I decide to take a hike without my playlists or sit and pet my sleepy cat just because or choose to take a phone call while sitting on the couch instead of in the car or from in front of the kitchen sink, laundry hamper or laptop.

    I agree wholeheartedly with every sentiment you expressed. Thank you for expressing them all.

  44. Farnoosh says:

    Absolutely brilliant and the real question is indeed the one that you close with, Jonathan.
    I am amazed by what I can get done when I shut down even half the distractions. I published a book on the Kindle store last week and from start to finish, it took me 3 weeks. It was not the only thing I did. But at nearly 19,000 words and three dozen revisions, I felt it was a worthwhile accomplishment and the feeling is empowering, not to mention the impact of change and contribution. Oh but the response to those immediate pulls for our attention, it is not easy to resist but it IS possible. Thank you so much for the perspective.

  45. [...] entrepreneur and hedge-fund lawyer with his thumb in multiple pies. His article last week about how being “hyperconnected” kills creativity is a huge wakeup call and reveals some key truths about nearly any type of entrepreneur, especially [...]

  46. Great article Jonathan.

    Hyper-connectivity could result in hyper-ventilation if left unchecked….along with its friend ‘the tyranny of the urgent’ – that’s why I never answer my phone unless it is family. That’s where a message bank is the place where you can save both time and money. I always call back – but calls grouped together in one hit – and sometimes I don’t need to call but can delegate or deal with via other media.

    That’s also why I have a 6 point prioritised action plan that I work on unabated each day so that productivity is at its peak……focus, focus, focus – and forget the flea bites of emails, texts and all the other distractions that can pull us away from our core activities. My life and my business depends upon it.

  47. Giovanna says:

    This is way I don´t have an Iphone or a Blackberry and keep my 5 years old cell phone!
    It´s much easier to disconnet from a notebook…

  48. So true. Brilliant insight. This stuff needs to be said–loud enough that we can hear it over the noise. I had a dream last night that a bunch of strangers staged an “intervention” to confront me with my “addiction.” Since I haven’t done drugs or much alcohol for a long time now, I couldn’t figure out the meaning until I read this post this morning. My addiction is electronic media. I realize I haven’t even touched my WIP in a month, but I’ve been frantically “busy” at screens 18 hrs a day.

  49. *michelle says:

    i love this kind of synchronicity! i wrote a post the other day about the newfound white space in my life and the new found creativity i’ve found…http://blissfullthinking.wordpress.com/2011/07/08/the-physics-of-expansion/

    and now i understand WHY!!

    thank you!!

  50. [...] Texting, e-mailing, and updating Twitter and Facebook may stifle creativity warns marketer and entrepreneur Jonathan Fields. Read what he says about intermittent reinforcement and wince in recognition. http://www.jonathanfields.com/blog/creative-kryptonite-and-the-death-of-productivity/ [...]

  51. Claire Dawn says:

    Thank you!

    A lot of my friends have Blackberry’s and I’m always like why should I need to follow that much randomness so much of the time? I like that when I shut down my comp and go outside, I leave the facebook and the blog and the twitter. I walk to various schools (I’m an ESL teacher in Japan, and also a writer) and that 10-30 minutewalk is where most of my ideas, character development and world building take place. Wouldn’t switch it for the world.

  52. [...] Creative Kryptonite and the Death of Productivity by Jonathan Fields [...]

  53. [...] feed, Facebook Inbox and LinkedIn group discussion is more `important.’As Jonathan pointed out in Creative Kryptonite and the Death of ProductivityHyperconnectivity gives us the perception of getting more done, it makes us feel like we’re [...]

  54. [...] What increases our potential and what destroys it are questions everyone, not just writers, should be asking. Jonathan Fields takes a powerful look at this subject in Creative Kryptonite and the Death of Productivity. [...]

  55. Joe Dixon says:

    Great post.

    I particularly like the idea that ‘open loops’ are what is distracting. The more ‘open’ projects we have, the less cognitive space we have available for each one.

    Also, I think this ties in with some things I’ve read about confidence building. The only way to get more confident is to do things that make you feel more confident. Strangely, one of the most inspiring, confidence-boosting things I learned about, and have since used, is choosing something different for breakfast.

    The more successful completions you have, the more you get used to finishing.

    Thanks for this post, Jonathan.

  56. [...] research out there. I subscribe to Jonathan Field’s blogs  and in a recent post he talked about hyper-connectivity. I am sure some of us know what that feels like. We don’t just drive anymore; we drive and talk [...]

  57. [...] Jonathan Fields says: There is often a huge chasm between being busy and being [...]

  58. [...] were never typed. It’s about the very real dangers (to your creativity) of hyperconnectivity “Creative Kryptonite and the Death of Productivity” by Jonathan [...]

  59. [...] Furthermore, getting projects off of my plate helps me feel less overwhelmed and frazzled. [...]

  60. [...] A few people have asked me why I’m doing this. And I tell them about the wasting time. About clicking through people’s photo albums and click click click click click click click click click click click click and then I’m not making music. Some of my friends get it. But more people have said “really? do you waste a lot of time on facebook?” For me, the cumilative effect of all those little clicks, 2 minutes here and there throughout the day, checking messages, watching funny videos, is WASTED TIME. Because it’s not just the time spent on facebook that’s lost, it’s the time it takes to get back into whatever I was doing before I had the urge to distract myself. That time adds up. And it kills productivity. [...]

  61. [...] achievement, it is becoming more and more recognised as a deterrent to productivity (click here or here for [...]

  62. [...] and entrepreneur Jonathan Fields studies this phenomenon in Creative Kryptonite and the Death of Productivity. Add it to your Must Read list. Better yet, take the 8 minutes or so you’ll need to skim, [...]

  63. sam says:

    I also think that relying on facebook stifles your creativity you should always be looking to learn new things.