Corporate individual contributor (i.e., not management) life is a bit of a topographic map — peaks and valleys, rough mountainous stretches then endless miles of flatlands. Over the past 16 years, I’ve gotten rather skilled at navigating the switchbacks, but really needed to work on managing those moments of nothing-done. I’d so much rather get something-done.
Recently I was sharing this conundrum with a coworker, and he got that look on his face. You know the look — the “I can’t believe you think this is a real problem” look.
He then proceeded to enlighten me to the fact that those lulls in the cycle of our business life are absolute money, and they purchase something very specific:
Time. Free time. “Me” time.
Lots of people may use that time to get themselves better organized, or close their eyes for a few minutes, or get personal odds and ends handled. Valid choices, he admitted. But as for him, he uses the time for something far more valuable: he goes for a walk.
He explores the city.
I had no rebuttal, no alternative opinion in the face of this dose of wisdom. Of course you should wander. Of course.
So that’s what I’ve started to do, on those days when the weather cooperates and I’ve worn sensible shoes.
My quest: find places and moments to capture on my camera phone, and a nice cup of iced chai.
My reward: downtime very well spent.
Shot on Pixel 6 Pro, black and white filter. (The irony that this shot of the sign also contains the City Bark — a dog treat cafe — is not lost on me.)