Seizing & Recording The Moment

I just realized something today and it has echoes of what was said by Paul Graham when he spoke about what business can learn from open source.

When I’m writing or hacking I spend as much time just thinking as I do actually typing. Half the time I’m sitting drinking a cup of tea, or walking around the neighborhood. This is a critical phase— this is where ideas come from— and yet I’d feel guilty doing this in most offices, with everyone else looking busy. Working in crappy informal spaces is one of the things startups do right without realizing it. As soon as you get into an office, work and life start to drift apart.

What I realized is that this applies to me as well and I need to start doing two things to promote this.

  1. Get out and walk around my neighborhood more, primarily as a means to let my ideas flow (like they did today for me).
  2. Also to carry a small pocket notebook or scratch pad to record my ideas that come to me when I’m out walking about. 

2 thoughts on “Seizing & Recording The Moment

  1. Nollind I have been doing this all my life and there’s never a shortage of fresh ideas in this head. I attribute this mostly to taking time out for myself–all the time. Driving around lands me with similar results as going for a walk. Make sure you have a notepad or voice recorder on hand at all times. You never know when inspiration will strike.

    I imagine it might take discipline for someone to put this process to work for them on a permanent and enduring basis. However, much like excercise, the hardest part is just getting out the door. And you never regret it afterwards =)

  2. Hmm, I guess the thing I’m potentially realizing is that my work environment isn’t conducive to work…or maybe more specifically it isn’t conducive to "idea" work. For example, I’ve got this idea in my head of what I’d like to do with my site/business. In my head it seems very straightforward. Yet when I start working on it in my home den/office, it just doesn’t want to "flow" from me (from my mind to paper or computer), if you know what I mean.

    However, when I get out of the house and go somewhere else (i.e coffee shop, beach, etc) then things seem to start flowing better. I’m actually wondering if maybe I shouldn’t try going to my brother’s place nearby downtown and work during the day at his place (as he has a home office as well). Be interesting to see how I work there versus at home.

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