Because you’re literally buckled into a chair, I’ve always found planes a terrific spot to do a lot of writing and reading and drawing and thinking. —AUSTIN KLEON
I love to fly. A flight is one of the few places in the world where I can instantly focus on the work at hand. During a flight, you can’t go anywhere, and you can’t do anything. Even if there were anything to do, the seat belt sign requires you to keep your ass on your chair. A plane can be the best place to read, write, think, and study!
A powerful story of one using planes to focus is Peter Shankman. As a popular speaker, Peter Shankman spends a lot of time flying. He then realised that thirty thousand feet was the best place to focus. After learning this, he signed a book contract, but he only had two weeks to finish the entire manuscript. To meet this almost impossible deadline, one would need incredible focus.
He did something unheard of to achieve this focus: he booked a round trip business-class ticket to Tokyo. En route to Japan, he wrote throughout the whole flight. Once he arrived, he drank an espresso, flew back to the States, once again spending the entire flight writing. He returned to the States thirty hours after he first left, but he brought home a completed manuscript. “The trip cost $4,000 and was worth every penny,” he explained.
“Locked in a seat with nothing in front of me, nothing to distract me, nothing to set off my ‘Ooh! Shiny!’ DNA, I have nothing to do but be at one with my thoughts.” - PETER SHANKMAN
But even on a plane, you have to make some changes to get intense focus.
- Turn off the screen if your seat has one. It’s too easy to get distracted and watch movies instead of focusing on your work.
- On the same note, say no when the stewardess offers you earphones to use with the screen. Without earphones, you won’t watch TV, unless you enjoy watching without the sound, of course.
- Don’t pay for Wi-Fi. You don’t need to be connected all the time.
- Put on a pair of noise-cancelling headphones to mask out the engine noises. Play some instrumental songs, and enjoy your work.
P.S. I’m currently writing this at 35,000 feet!