Getting To Orbit

Getting to Space is hard, but staying in Space? Well, that’s something altogether different.

Getting to Space is fun, and it's relatively simple. Point your rocket up and burn until the stars come out. Then, you fall back down. It’s a thrill ride; an adrenaline-soaked shot to a dark sky. The view is phenomenal, sure, but it can’t last. What goes up, must come down.

Staying in Space is the Really Hard Work. You don’t just go up to the edge of the atmosphere, you need to go up to the edge of the atmosphere and be going 17,000 mph when you get there.

Getting to orbit is tremendously harder than going to a high altitude, but the payoff isn’t just one of magnitude, it’s one of kind. There are things you can do in orbit that you simply cannot do by jumping to the edge of space and falling back.

For those of us doing Knowledge work, the need for us to get above our worlds for extended periods of time is crucial to doing what we need to do.

I was reminded of this recently when we went to visit some family out of state. Working from a dining room table afforded far more interruptions than my home office, and getting extended periods of focus was much more difficult than usual. As a result, deep focus work was harder to come by, and I made less progress some days than I wanted. Being with family was great, but a work environment that consists of a dining room table isn’t sustainable.

You’ve probably felt it too, at times. Those days when you get interrupted constantly, or have to jump from meeting to meeting. Finding a quiet place to work without interruption isn’t just nice, it’s the difference between getting hard work done and making no progress at all.

Interruptions cut the engines of our focus. If you cut the engines early you’ll go somewhere, but never all the way to orbit. Bounce up and down across your day and you’ll check things off your list, but the hard work will never be done.

To do the hard work we need to go to the launch pad.

Find a quiet place. Put on some headphones. Turn off notifications. Close your email. Lock the door.

Now, you’re go for launch.