Three weeks ago my laptop stopped turning on – the result of an unfortunate incident with a cup of tea 6 months ago. For someone whose work is almost entirely executed ‘online’ this was at first a fairly challenging situation, taking away my ability to complete work (and make a living) from any place at any time. Whilst I do recognise this is an absolute luxury of the modern world, it has become my normal work environment and I knew would take some re-jigging to work around. Whilst I inevitably will need to replace the device, I have found this forced break offline both refreshing and informing.
A lot of the day to day to keep Vaughan Baker up and running, along with my other personal work for clients, is done in the digital realm, and thus my idea of being productive has become inherently linked with sitting in front of a screen. I had already begun to notice that my attachment to working on a computer was limiting my ideas, and proving to be distracting, but it wasn’t until the option was taken away that I realised how much more clearly I could think, and how much more attention I could give to an idea or a task if I simply stuck to pen and paper. Not only does it improve your ability to focus on the one task at hand, it also allows you to develop your ideas uniquely, without going down a vortex of comparison and wonder with all the access the internet allows.
The biggest thing that the death of my laptop has given me is a shake up of my working practices. The timing of the incident with a new year has allowed me to reset intentions and create new habits that are proving conduits to more creativity, clearer thoughts and more precise execution. I can only hope that they continue, and when the day does come that I replace the broken laptop, I hope that I can keep some of these learnings with me and keep my reliance on a computer in check to when it is actually necessary. What habits, work related or other, do you think could use a shake up? What could you do to allow more creativity in your day to day?