I started writing this piece on the ferry as I headed over to Vancouver for a speaking event. The ferry system has wireless access, but it seems to be available only on a “first-come, first-serve” basis. So I looked at what I had on my plate and started doing something that didn’t require that type of access.
I continued to write this piece in my hotel room, which only offers wireless access at a charge. So I looked at what I had on my plate and, once again, started doing something that didn’t require that type of access.
Before I got back to my hotel room, I was sitting in a pub with my Field Notes notebook and a selection of Micron pens stowed away in my new Nock carrying case. I didn’t have my computer with me, and my iPhone was running on fumes, so I captured and planned away on paper.
No matter where I was on this trip, I was able to do something to move things forward. In fact, no matter where I am every day I am always able to do something to move things forward. I have learned not to rely on technology. For example, my presentation tomorrow doesn’t require wireless access and the slides act as triggers, so if my MacBook Air was to stop working I’d still be okay. All of the gear I have isn’t worth much if I rely on it more than I rely on myself. The gear helps me deliver the goods, but I’m the vessel that ultimately decides on what goods to deliver.
We live in a great period of our history. We can learn new skills anytime, anywhere, and from anyone on the planet through portals like creativeLIVE and other similar platforms. We can carry entire libraries with us in our pockets. We have a ton of tools at our disposal that were science fiction only a few years ago.
But we need to remember that we wield the tools, they don’t wield us. And they shouldn’t ultimately yield us either.
We are all workspaces. The thing is, we need to make sure we are all effective and efficient workspaces.
So the next time you can’t connect to the Internet, look at your workspace and do what’s right. The next time you don’t want to pay for hotel wi-fi, look at your workspace and do what’s right. The next time you don’t have your devices at all, look at your workspace and do what’s right.
That’s how you build that efficiency and effectiveness. It’s also how you stop “doing” productive and start “being” productive.
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Mike Vardy is a writer, productivity strategist, and the creator of TimeCrafting. He is the author of the upcoming book TimeCrafting: A Better Way to Get The Right Things Done. Mike is also renowned speaker and has taught productivity on CreativeLive, Skillshare, and LinkedIn Learning where his courses are among the most popular in the business category.