By the end of this year, I will have been on 123 airplane rides. That's a lot of individual legs, a lot of tiny bags of pretzels, a lot of stale cabin air, and a lot of slow wifi.
I don't always use the Internet in flight. In fact, I only log on maybe 10% of the time. Partly, this is so I can actually be disconnected. Other than when I'm sleeping, the only time I'm not accessible is when I'm up in the air.
I'll usually connect on long flights (over 3 hours or so) at least for an hour, especially on a weekday, so I can stay on top of email. Otherwise, I'll unplug and work, either typing up ideas writing posts, or reading stuff I've been meaning to get to.
I also don't connect because the only Internet slower than free wifi is paid airline wifi. I'll get connected and then wait. And wait. Pages will take a while to load. Some emails won't send. I'm not complaining - it is a feat of modern human engineering that we can even get a signal while careening through the air at 500 mph. But time and again, all that data is simply processing.
The message comes again.
Eventually I'll just shut it off. I know, of course, that my ability to email colleagues is really less important that the dude behind me streaming HGTV, so I just call it a day and go back to my magazines or whatever I've got waiting for me in Evernote.
We all have these processing moments. Each of us takes in new information differently. We need time to listen, understand, analyze, plan, and act. Some of us are quicker as parts of that than others. And this is okay, especially if our teams know how it is we like to process that information.
This is something I ask in interviews at Batch. I want to know how people on my team prefer to process information in order to make a decision. As a leader, this will help me know how to share information with those who need to know it while waiting for the appropriate responses to follow.
Me? I process through words. I like to turn over something in my head as much as possible, but I also process via speech and writing. I'd say that I probably haven't fully thought about something until I've talked about it out loud, be it with a confidant or even to myself. Then, this leads to action, which leads to further analysis and reaction and so on until we get the result we're after.
My team needs to know this. That way, when I'm discussing something, I'm not necessarily making a definitive call. Through that discussion I will hope to arrive at a definitive answer, but the first words I say shouldn't be taken as a final authority.
No matter how our people process information, we all need the gift of patience as they process. Whether they talk it out, go for a walk, need to sleep on it, or make long lists, those of us in their care or on their side need to understand their methods so we can assist and collaborate so that the best decision is reached once all the data has been processed.
Processing. It's a vital part of decision making. Don't rush it or else everything will just load halfway.