Cloudy day. Earlier in 2016.
Prague, Vaclav Havel Airport. On board of a taxing plane.
“Ladies and gentlemen, welcome on board. Please switch off all your electronic devices or put them into airplane mode, we are preparing for takeoff.”
I take my iPhone out from my pocket, unlock it, swipe up from the Home screen and tap the airplane icon. In a few moments we are speeding on the runway. The plane breaks the connection with the ground and I’m pressed into my seat.
I love flying. No matter how hectic my day is, once I board the plane, everything turns quiet. Disconnected from everything, I can relax and fully focus on whatever I need to focus on. That book I was trying to finish for the whole week. The blog post that was taking me too long to write. Or just that quiet moment of contemplation I did not have a single minute for. I look out from the window.
Seems like I am a few thousand meters above the ground. Where distractions can’t reach me.
New Year’s Eve, 2016
So much to get done, so little time! WhatsApp, Facebook, Gmail and a myriad other apps designed to break my focus every 3 minutes. If only I had a flight scheduled for today, then I could get all my stuff done!
A thought: “Please switch off all your electronic devices or put them into airplane mode.”
Then a heretical idea.
With a hint of hesitation, I take the iPhone out from my pocket. I carefully place my thumb on the Touch ID scanner. Isn’t it too easy to be true? I move my thumb to the bottom edge of the screen. In a careful motion, millimeter by millimeter, I swipe up. Control Center. 10 seconds pass. Am I ready for this? Just like that? Yes. Just like that. I’m Feeling determined. Determined and adventurous. I lift my thumb up – and tap the airplane icon.
It’s as if the whole world came to a halt. I have just cut myself off from the information superhighway. Feels like taking a cold shower. Instinct screams at me “Stop doing this!” Reason whispers: “Keep going.”
Carefully, I place the phone on the table in front of me and slightly push it away. I calm down and ask myself aloud: “All right. What was it I wanted to do?” I place my palms on the keyboard of my laptop and start typing.
Two minutes later, I catch my right hand reaching out for the phone. A thought flashes through my mind: “Maybe a new message?” I stop the hand.
“Airplane mode, remember? No message, silly!”
My right hand lands obediently back on the keyboard and continues typing a bulleted list. “Tools you can use during your workshop”.
Thirty minutes later with an outline of a new workshop completed, I look out from the window.
I’m in a place where the distractions can’t reach me.
Just a few meters above the ground.