In my precious hour, I am aware that it is quiet. During this silence, maybe nothing at all is built other than the room I’ve given myself to think. I break the flow of enticing small things to do, I separate myself from the bright people on similarly impressive busy quests, and I listen to what I’m thinking.

Every day, for an hour, no matter what.

Michael Lopp on the faux-zone and making time for building things. Fantastic post again. I’ve also just started reading Scott Berkun’s Mindfire. He also makes similar points here and here.

This is definitely something I’m going to pay more attention to. I’ve been thinking about this quite a bit lately and that last essay from Berkun brought home the importance of this.

This begs the question, when was the last time you were free from others? The last day you spent alone and let all the thoughts you bury and hide in everyday life rise in your mind? Travel, meditation, long baths, a run in the woods, are all ways to give ourselves a taste of the solitude needed to think freely. Needed to understand ourselves and feel who we actually are. How can you know how much of what you think you want, and think you need is really coming from you? It may be that our truest, freest voice, the voice we call our heart of hearts, is always talking, but it’s quiet and timid and can’t be heard over the chatter of everyday life. Unless we make quiet time to learn how to hear it. And of course, we’re still free to ignore that voice, but at least we’ve given ourselves a chance to listen. Only then is it possible to sort through our lives to strengthen the connections with others who truly share our feelings and thoughts about life. Being free has never been easy, which explains why so few, despite what they say, truly are themselves.

Do I deliberately try to not fill my calendar? Do I give myself some time alone and away from the screen? I will. One precious hour a day to build something. Sounds like a plan.

Ramkumar Shankar