You Have Plenty of Time - Make Some Space

Have you ever achieved more in an hour than you managed the rest of the week? I have. I get a serious case of what I call “travel clarity” – I can get more done on a flight down the country than I can for the rest of the week.

What’s that about?

Time, sure. People tell me every single day that they don’t have enough time. And who am I to argue with them? I’m writing this at 10 pm – I’m not an expert on time management.

But more than that: space.

The flashbulb moments that change the way you think about a problem, while they can’t be manufactured, can be nurtured by the right conditions.

“What is important is seldom urgent. And what is urgent is seldom important.” – Dwight D. Eisenhower

Here’s what I do know, though: spending more time doing the same stuff will not yield new results on its own. Big-picture thinking requires time, headspace, and physical space to kick off insight and perspective.

Even more than this, it requires a pattern interruption of some sort, to provoke us into a different headspace, or tap a different part of our brain to make connections between the things we didn't see before.

Woody Allen is said to have his best ideas in the shower. J.K. Rowling drafted Harry Potter on a train, inside her head, for four hours. And don't forget old Archimedes jumping out of the bath.. Eureka!

Here’s what I do know: spending more time doing the same stuff will not yield new results on its own. Eureka thinking and problem-solving requires time, headspace, and physical space to kick off insight and perspective.

Even more than this, it requires a pattern interruption of some sort..

Expecting to do important, different work inside the same constraints, environments and attitudes that we do everything else in doesn't make logical sense - that's not how we're wired, and that's OK.

How do you do your best, big-picture work? Ever experienced a jolt of inspiration in a strange place?