One would think that the more time you spend doing something, the better you would be at it right? Play the piano'll make better music. Go on more runs, your 5k time may drop. Malcolm Gladwell provides us with a 10,000 hour rule for mastering any skill. That said, I think there's a bell curve for some tasks. To be a good digital strategist, you obviously have to know the space. Not know 30,000 foot view stats about different platforms but spend some time in each area you are working in to know how people engage from a user level. You have to be in the weeds. So yes, spending time online is critical to your job.

So when does not being online help me be better at a job that wouldn't exist without the internet?


The term digital strategist is two words - not one.

Digital = takes place online or in some other digital experience (mobile, AR etc).

Strategy = thinking about a creative solution to a problem.

So if the internet is impacting how I think and approach problem solving, wouldn't my best problem solving be done away from a computer monitor from time to time?

Our best thinking isn't done browsing the web or checking every ding that pops up in the corner of our screen. We have to be able to look at a client problem from every angle and step out of our digital box. It's when we aren't staring at a screen is when we do our best thinking.

I'm the lead digital person at my agency at the moment and rarely carry a computer to a brainstorming meeting. When I'm trying to figure out a new idea for a client in my office, I give all my attention to my analog white board. I shut the computer off, put my phone on silent (and face-down) and think.

I'll be honest, this is hard. Checking my phone or an email is a nervous twitch I get whenever my brain idles, even if it's for just a moment. I feel left out if I'm not on top of the latest breaking technology announcement or new app that's hit the market.

Then I realized: I'm not a journalist. I'm not trying to break news. It's not my focus or task. That new app will be there a couple of hours later. Those emails aren't going anywhere. It's not the doing or the multitasking that will add value to a's the initial creative thinking (which supports the eventual doing).

What do you think?

What role does technology play in our creative process?