Learning to Switch On Your Creativity by Slowing Down

Process automation is great for your productivity, but when you slow down, you give room to creativity and it lets you tackle your problem from another angle.

Chill Work

Where the Frustration Begins

I'm borrowing Yok's old MacBook Air as I will be away from my "home" MSI laptop for 2 weeks to get some parts repaired. Although this MacBook Air is not so old that it would fall to pieces, it is still a little slow for my impatient brain. Also, I've never been a Mac user. I might have played around with one, and toyed with the idea of owning one someday, but I have never really taken a dive at the deep end and made to effort to make a switch (yet at least, and I honestly I don't plan to do so soon - I am worried about the transition cost, which will be a story for another time). All I'm saying is, I'm frustrated. However, amidst the frustration, I quickly realized that there is something to gain as well.

Defining Productivity Snob

I would say that I'm quite a productivity snob myself. I'm obsessed with the idea that all tools should serve me right and never get in my way. I have many shortcuts on both my phone and computer that let me execute, automate, and most importantly capture any idea or random thoughts that I might have - to the point that I would do it unconsciously. Having it taken away feels like missing a limb (way exaggerated, but the irritation is definitely there).

This unfamiliar working environment is of course very annoying and is certainly not my "home" - optimal working environment. The best way to describe it is it feels like you are not in control of what you are doing as you are used to. The things that I can do almost subconsciously took many seconds, tens of seconds, or will take minutes to do (in this alien environment, so after I try to trigger some shortcuts/automation that does not work out of habit, I might just pick up my pen to write it down for later instead).

There is Something to Gain from Any Experience

After all these rants, you might wonder what I have to gain from this experience. After my head had cooled down, and I have accepted that my work procedure will not be on the fly as it's used to be, I've realized that being forced to slow takes your brain to a different path. Normally, when all actions and ideas could be done in a snap I rarely take the time to think things through. It is like sprinting in a race with only the goal in mind with no capacity to be creative. Now as that seamlessness was removed, the sprint becomes a jog, and you can't help but become conscious of what is going on around you. Creativity makes room for itself, and it makes me see things I was not wary of during the sprint (I was able to find a workaround for a redundant task I've been doing for months).

In Conclusion

Although I've discovered something new in this unfamiliar work process, I'm sure that there's a place and time that both ways of working will shine. The next step would be to figure out and experiment - try more things, learn more stuff.

. . . And yes, I still want my MSI back ASAP