I’m writing this on the morning of Thursday, June 21, 2022. As always, I publish these on or about the last day of the month and this edition will be no exception. This morning my wife and I had to have our son at a park about 35 minutes from home for a 9 AM guided mountain bike ride with Wheels Up (for my readers in the St. Louis and even Kansas City area, I encourage you to check them out; they have programs for both kids and adults).
My wife did the driving yesterday and I did it today. My options for the morning were drive back home and then return for a 12:30 pick up, sit at a local coffee shop, or find a way to be productive at the park. Driving back and forth would consume a solid extra hour which didn’t seem worth it. I’m sure there is a nearby coffee shop and while I know many people “office” out of coffee shops I don’t see how they get anything meaningful accomplished. It’s too noisy and there are just far too many distractions.
I chose to make sure my laptop and cell phone were fully charged and plan my morning so I could work “off the grid” as much as possible. For certain items I need a high speed internet connection and dual monitors but for this morning I could certainly work without either. When I arrived at the drop off point, I was pleasantly surprised to see a park bench in a shady area under some trees and rest rooms about 50 yards away. Perfect.
I started on my first project at 9AM sharp and could hear the morning ride briefing in the background. By 9:15 Coach Cody had the kids on the trail. About 15 minutes later I had a fleeting thought that I was making good time on my first task of the day. By 9:50 I was done. Hmmm? And then it stuck me. Aside from a quick call to my wife (2-3 minutes), I had no distractions. Since I hadn’t connected my laptop to my cell phone hot spot there were no incoming email pings. I hadn’t glanced at the news or stock ticker. Frankly, it was refreshing.
From time to time, I shut down outside distractions when I need to focus but apparently, I haven’t done it for quite some time and had forgotten how useful it can be. Sure, there are times you need to be connected; that’s part of the modern work world. But it needn’t be every working moment of every day.
What does your workday look like? Would you find it beneficial to disconnect so you can crank through some work more productively and be more refreshed when you reconnect?
Today this definitely worked for me and I’m going to do it more often. It’s 10:15 and my first draft of this newsletter is complete. Time for the next item on my morning to do list.
Sorry for the distraction.
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