Don’t Be a Nowhere Man

Brilliant Blogger Jan Harness produced yet another interesting post yesterday–Creativity Tips: Forget Your Phone. She wrote about how she had forgotten her cell phone and that allowed her “multi-tasking brain” to breathe a sigh of relief. She then mentioned that once-upon-a-time, in the days before cell phones and mobile phones, many homes had but a single landline phone. And when you used that phone, you listened to the person speaking or talked to that person. That was it. Besides doodling on a note pad, there wasn’t anything else you could do. You single-tasked; you did one thing at a time.

On Sunday night, Andy Harris (the brilliant fellow who designed this website) tweeted a link to an article he had just read concerning the negative effect multi-tasking has on productivity (

Andy’s reference and Jan’s insights made me think of the Beatle’s song: Nowhere Man. The opening lyrics are–”He’s a real nowhere man, sitting in his nowhere land.” The internet, cell phones, texting, twitter, email, and social media allow us to be anywhere at anytime. The limits of time and space have evaporated. (I read and produced emails on a recent flight from Minneapolis to Atlanta. The former sacred solitude of air travel is now gone). We now live in Nowhere Land and run the serious risk of becoming Nowhere Men and Women.

Edward de Bono, the creator of Six Thinking Hats, says the enemy of thinking is complexity because complexity leads to confusion. He recommends that we keep things simple and focus on doing one thing at a time. When we do that, we change “nowhere” to “now” “here” and regain the sense of time and space we need to exercise our brilliance.

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