A Productivity Time Capsule With Wings

A Productivity Time Capsule With Wings

My best brainstorms have come in the cramped seats of an economy class flight. A sardine case with wings. It's wonders for productivity.

This creative and spiraling vortex welcomes me with open arms because when I walk on the plane I have 3 options:

  • Option 1: Talk to the redneck next to me (flying out of Oklahoma) about fishing, construction, or a thudding conversation about "back in the old days."
  • Option 2: Pull out the iPad and watch a movie I've already seen (or for international flights, an in-flight movie). This works once my mind is exhausted, but it's not appealing on a 3 by 3 screen with a crackling headset and amplifies the pilot's voice by 10 times when he decides to chime in about a "fun fact."
  • Option 3: I have no email access—wifi on planes usually costs $$ and it is slow, no thanks. (Sidenote: there's nothing worse than the false promise of wifi that works. You think you're going to get emails completed, nope, can't connect.)

My phone is on Airplane mode, there's a good excuse to shut off the noise, and I enter the little land of forced creativity...

Can this land of creativity be re-created sans airplane?

I think so. I'm doing it as I write this post. Kids down for a nap, stomach is full, phone on Do Not Disturb (my wife keeps texting me and the phone is buzzing. Even forced creativity can only go so far).

Brian Tracy said something towards this theme (I'm not going to look it up because then that would defeat the purpose of my creative time capsule I'm in), "Your brain is an amazing thing. If you give it specific time parameters and goals by which to accomplish a certain task, and only focus on that task, your creative wiring goes to work and will accomplish the task set before you."

Here's a practical picture: You have a report you need to present to your team/shareholders/managers, but you keep putting it off. Give yourself 25 minutes to produce a first draft. Start the clock, turn the world off, and go into your productive time capsule. Now your mind is working against the clock, distractions are minimized. That aggressive high school football/soccer energy that you thought was long gone, has turned into a race against 25 minutes... and you've created a nice little zone for yourself.

The point is the airplane should not be your most creative and productive zone (I guess it could be, but that would get quite expensive). Set yourself up to win by minimizing unproductive distractions. At some point you must bite the bullet and get the work done.

The only thing separating you from where you want to be is doing the work. Act like you're in a plane. "Sit back, relax, and enjoy the zone."

(photo: evan leeson)