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Have you tried Media Deprivation?

Media Deprivation, a tool I first introduced in The Artist's Way as Reading Deprivation, is a conscious unplugging. In the twenty years since The Artist's Way was published, I expanded the term to "Media Deprivation" to include the many devices and distractions now available to us on a constant basis.

Media Deprivation is one of the most resisted-- and most productive-- tools I teach.

It is just what it sounds like: no media. I ask my students to try this for a week. This means turning all devices off: no reading, no emailing, no texting, no surfing the Internet. No talk radio, no TV. And yes, I can feel the protests as I type this.

I know you need to check your email for work. And I always say that "I teach adults." No, I am not asking you to quit your job or behave in a way that would get you fired. But I am asking you to try limiting the constant interruption of "inflow" as much as you possibly can. For one week. And if you cannot turn your devices completely off, you can certainly contain the access people have to you without being irresponsible. I am not asking you to be irresponsible to your work. I am asking you to be responsible to yourself.

When we are constantly interrupted, we lose our train of thought. When my students experiment with turning their devices off, they find that they are often flooded with ideas, even inspiration.

Media Deprivation casts us back onto ourselves, puts us in touch with our own thoughts and ideas, and often frees up a lot of time.

Try experimenting with this, and see what happens.

-adapted from "The Prosperous Heart"