Career, Innovation, Productivity

Travel opens your mind

What do you do when you travel?

My best thinking time is in airports or on planes. Even with the advent of airport and onboard wi-fi, I find my best ideas come from reading (from a book) and writing (longhand, in a notebook.) When I spend time away and disconnect from the “always-on” world that we live in, I come back feeling refreshed.

Taking stock of what needs to be done.

When traveling, I try to accomplish a few different things:

  • Review the most important things that need to get done – I keep several lists (in evernote and elsewhere) and I use my travel time to recap those lists by hand and write out the important ones. Anything else can wait.
  • Build crazy ideas I haven’t thought of yet – when you’re in-between places physically, it’s great to think about the mental and physical travel path you need to take to accomplish some ideas that aren’t yet done (or started.)
  • Do some drawing – sketching random things opens up new ideas, refreshes old ones, and generally leaves me feeling creative.
A successful trip leaves me with four or five things that I can do when I have down time, and reminds me of the critical path items I need to do before then.

And executing the next set of goals.

It’s not enough to think of the goals that I’ll be doing – it’s also necessary to detail the steps to take to get to those goals. And that’s what I’ll be doing on my next trip. What do you do on yours?


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