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Waiting for a plane-ride is not a sustainable solution

By on June 14, 2011No Comment
I’ve just spent 60 minutes (in a row!) drafting a critically important workflow for the billing system of our product, AwayFind. If I weren’t on a flight just now, would I have given myself enough time to think through the scenarios?
It’s increasingly difficult for me to find an hour free of interruption.  I’ve been reading, writing, and coaching on time management for years—you’d think I’d have overcome this challenge for myself.  But as I find myself with greater responsibilities and more people depending on me, it’s come to this—flights and trains, especially those without internet, are my best opportunities for a true lack of interruptions.
There’s a difference between productivity and a true lack of interruptions.  Productivity is getting in “the zone” where words flow, and tasks seem to complete themselves.  A true lack of interruptions is a context for productivity to thrive, as it offers room to let things settle, for ideas to develop, for critical thinking.
Any real solution to workplace overload needs to create opportunties for true lack of interruptions, for that time to not only complete tasks, but to complete them thoughtfully and effectively.
I realize that even with all my tips and tricks for productivity, I’ve lately put my team first and been in a bit more of a reactive state, rather than setting my own agenda.  That has to change—waiting for another flight without WiFi is not a sustainable solution.
Taking more advantage of my own product, Rescue Time, and the Email Game will be helpful.  Saying no to more opportunities will be essential.  I don’t blame information overload, but the responsibilities I’ve taken on for myself.  All this is running through my head right now.
But for now, I’m going to take advantage of another two hours free from interruptions.  So go ahead, buy yourself a plane ticket, or use this as motiviation to decide what to cut or how to free yourself from interruptions.  You’ll not only be productive, but a more thoughtful and effective person.

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