I sat down in 34 E, a middle seat. There would be no room to work on my laptop on this 2 hr. 34 min. flight from San Jose, Costa Rica to Fort Lauderdale, Florida. I was stuck, badly stuck.
It had been a short busy trip to UPEACE. If I had space to open-up my labtop on this flight, I would have typed up some meeting notes, gone through my electronic calendar, organized my e-files, and deleted some e-mails. The first couple of hours would have flown by (no pun intended). I would have ended by looking at some family pictures and probably marveling at how fast the girls are growing up.
But instead, not having space for my computer, I pulled out a blank notebook. 154 minutes later, I had filled out about a dozen pages and I was feeling more relaxed than I have in ages. I had poured my heart and mind out into this journal that I had picked up, somewhat guiltily because of its price, at the airport. The ‘Return on Investment’ had been made up by the time I reached my second page of notes. By the sixth page, it felt like the equivalent of a very valuable coaching session. And by page 12, I had nothing left in my head to process – it was all on paper, and I could finally shut my eyes as the wheels hit ground at Fort Lauderdale International airport.
When was the last time that I had done that? Truth be told, I often look forward to long flights as an opportunity to do the ‘brain download’. But somehow, as soon as I have a computer in front of me, my ability to really ‘capture my thoughts’ is inhibited. Yes, I have tried some of the MindMap software and I’ve downloaded ‘NotePad’ on my tablet. It may be my age (I’m just a few months away from turning 40) but at the end of the day, nothing beats ‘pen and paper’.
We live in world where the pace of change is exponential (see this video). Right now, in order to create a deadline and focus, I have my phone timer doing a 25-min. ticking countdown as I write this (a Pomodoro). I forgot to switch off Skype before starting this, and Alonso Munoz messaged me from Costa Rica a little earlier. We exchanged a few text messages before I continued on.
I love technology! But increasingly, I find myself going ‘back to the basics’ in several areas of my life. This tension between ’embracing innovation’ and ‘sticking with tradition’ is one of the themes we’ll be discussing in the Centre’s new online course, Designing Your Life: Innovating From the Inside Out.