The following is a typical conversation in Alaska:
Person 1: How far away is that?
Person 2: 4 hours.
On the face of it, responding to a question of how far away something is with how long it will take doesn't make a lot of sense. But that's Alaska for you. Probably similar to places that have a lot of space between their borders. Like Texas. Or India.
I saw a sign posted along a road roughly halfway between Kirkland, WA and Bellevue, Wa, that said:
🚶♀️ Kirkland 2.7
🚶♀️ Bellevue 2.4
Immediately, I thought, “Not miles, time!”
When I gave my talk at UXHK in Hong Kong in 2018, I said the following...
“Over the course of the 12 days of driving, I had a lot of time to think. The long periods of quiet, and totally paying attention to the road, were helpful in coalescing, or starting to coalesce my thinking around this.
Time. That is what I appreciated. I was at a point in my life where I could take 6 months away from work and not have to worry about money. On that drive, when I saw a lake, or a dirt road, I could stop and have lunch, or I could go find the river I knew was somewhere down that road.
I don’t mean to say we all need to take 6 months off and drive 5000 miles and get a flat tire 90 miles from help and have to change to the spare in a severe thunderstorm. Though, if you have the means, I highly recommend it.
We can all take and make time for ourselves. There are many decisions we can make in our lives that could likely give us 6 months of time to focus and grow; like not binge-watching shows on Netflix or stepping away from social media. The time we take and make for ourselves can add up quickly.
I love you, and I want you to have time, too.”
I push people in (broadly-speaking) the Design world to really, really think about their career. Who they work for, what they work on. I ask if what they do provides meaning for them. I ask if what they do provides meaning for others. I ask them if they really think about who gets their value ... and who gets their time.
It’s worth thinking about that intentionally.
How do you spend your time? Does it help you live a better life? Does it help others to live a better life? If the answer to either is No, then what time can you make to put you on a better path?
I once waxed: “Move people forward to less frustration, pain, anger, and loss. Move people forward toward more stability, dignity, love, and time.”
I'm sitting on the 28th floor of a hotel in downtown Seattle (the pic above is my view right now). I'm here on a project. I have the next 3 days off.
I'm thinking about what to do with my time.