I’m currently 30,000 feet in the air. I’m on the way to Phoenix with my sister Jill to pick up her new pup, Pip.
I know, I know. Cute af, right? Look at her tail!
It’s funny, I am always so productive on planes. I read more pages and write more words in a few hours in the air than I do the entire time I’m on the ground.
I knocked out more on a trip from Salt Lake City to New Jersey than I did for the entire month of May.
Why do I get more done in four hours than I do in 30 days?
Years ago I attended a conference by this dude named Brendon Burchard, and he shared one of his productivity tools that clearly explains my plane productivity. He called it block time.
Here’s how he broke it down. Block time is a scheduled chunk of time, free of distraction, and with a specific intention in mind.
Lock yourself in a room, plane, or closet. It doesn’t matter to me. Don’t bring your phone, shut down the internet, and leave the fish tacos in the fridge for after block time.
Have a timer and whatever tools you need to make moves on your project, assignment, or to-do list.
When I’m stuck in that plane seat, with no leg room and the 300 pound man in front of me reclined into my lap, I give myself no other option than to produce. I have my iPad loaded with books, and the Notebook App up and ready to rock.
I recently learned that “one hour of focused time is equal to about four hours of distracted time.” This is because of something biz Professor Sophie Leroy refers to as Attention Residue.
When we switch back and forth between tasks, our attention doesn’t automatically come with us. When we turn back to our writing assignment or photography project from Snapchat we don’t mentally pick back up where we left off. That cute snap of Pip sticks in our minds for longer than we think.
Research shows that even small distractions, like a text or taking the dog out to pee, can have major impacts on how long it takes us to get something done.
This is the essence of block time: To remove all distractions (i.e. Facebook, phones, and tacos) and singularly focus on the goods at hand.
Set a timer, and do not leave that space until the timer is up. You’ll be surprise how much you can get done on a short flight from LA to Phoenix..