Yesterday in the Boston Globe, journalist Dugan Arnett talked about teens writing papers on  smartphones. It seems this can be an efficient way to get the work done. They can write on the way to practice, if they forgot their laptop or while waiting for the bus. A bits and pieces process may preclude deep concentration and the nuance that arises with sustained effort. Crouching over a smartphone can compromise posture or formatting. Still, there are  advantages.

FullSizeRenderPsychologically speaking, the smartphones can be a way to combat the avoidance associated with assigned tasks. If a treasured tool is used, the chore may feel less odious. If one thinks, “Well, I only have ten minutes so what the…” one is more likely to “Just do it.” Low expectations make it easier to act, the first step can be the hardest and creativity is often enhanced by constraints, time-wise and otherwise. One client, a researcher, said  that when he realized he could start a paper in a five-minute time span, it improved his productivity and mood. Waiting for the perfect time, which rarely came, provoked anxiety and a pile-up.

At any rate, I can relate. I take my phone when I run so that if I get an idea for a blog I can get it down. Otherwise I might lose it. Every now and then I stop and write the whole thing. Once I ran into a friend while sitting on a stump and she laughed, affectionately. Lots of people free-associate or get ideas when they run, walk etc. Long ago, writer Joan Didion said the difference between those who write and those who do not is the writer’s notebook. I still carry one, along with a pen and use it for lists or poems.

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