As this is my first blog post, I will shortly explain the foundation of Visual Pathways methodology and how it came to be. You are welcome to send me your comments.
One of the most advanced tools we have ever invented is the computer, indeed a remarkable invention which for the last many years has empowered humanity. Modern computers are now capable of executing millions of operations per second. They can be used to perform precise operations, store large amounts of data and retrieve it easily. The first modern computer communicated with us using light blobs and later on, printed paper - communication was initially made visually.
One of the first modern computers, the Colossus Mark 2
Today, the common communication medium with computers is the display, our fingers on a touch screen and a mouse. The keyboard (physical or virtual) is mostly used to input alphabetic letters - numbers and symbols.
While the vertical range of the visual field of humans is typically around 135 degrees and around 180 degrees’ horizontal, the common field of view the display provides is about 1/6 of that; considering a common sitting distance from a standard 17”-21” monitor.
You can have the biggest screen your money can buy, but it will never be able to wrap around your world. VR (Virtual Reality) has just made a small step into the computerized world but is limited with what its creators have designed it to do.
The mouse is a single point moving in a 2D world. In order to move the mouse cursor, we need to use one hand and the total of five fingers – thus, we are reducing our power by 1/5.
The keyboard allows us to insert letters and symbols in a very fast way but is still limited by its given number of symbols.
Let’s examine the process of creating a square.
On a modern computer you will need to find the right App, wait for it to load, create a new document file, find the right tool icon among many others and only then are you are able to start shaping the square. On the computer your mind and action will be transmitted across mediums and spaces for which you will need to maintain orientation and high focus due to so many communication channels and the wide variety of options available - they will divert your attention and delay your thinking.
Using pencil and paper involves grabbing them and immediately start drawing; freely.
Pencil and paper takes fewer steps to complete the action and lets your brain carry on to the next step - its simpler; your mind is engaging directly with the pen; any actions taken are immediately reflected on the canvas.
Indeed, once we have selected the proper command on the computer, it will perform it very fast, but until then a great delay occurs. Moreover, computers are limited by the features the instructor gives them. Our mind can create many ideas in one second - the computer can have zero ideas. We improvise and find solutions to problems we encounter, while the computer will narrow our way of thinking with the available tools it offers us.
Therefore, when it comes to creativity, we must minimize the number of mediums and variety of tools we use; our brain is much faster than any computer on this planet when it comes to creativity.
Now don't get me wrong! I’m all for using computers - I have a retina MacBook Pro, two iPads (one of them is the Pro), an iPhone 6S Plus, an Apple TV, an Apple watch and a Kindle - state of the art technology by any measures; but I use them as tools for actions which need to be precise, formatted or distributed across the internet - They are not creativity devices.
Humans live in a 3D space; our mind is capable of using two hands with ten fingers. We can virtually create any symbol on paper and shape any object we can think of. It might happen that writing an email starts directly on the mail App due to the fact it it’s the medium providing me with the right tools. However, for the most part, writing an email does not require creativity - all you want to do is deliver a message which can be read on the other side properly and fast.
Most of us can think ahead and plan the next actions in our mind faster than the computer, but the interface and physical devices, such as the mouse slow us down drastically - it’s like having a body with one hand and one finger, our mind is not built for such limitations and is much more capable.
Trying to be in a higher state of creativity and operation only by using a computer is like peeking through a narrow spaceship window - you can see only a small part of space.
Now imagine you’re in a spaceship made of glass - this is visual pathways!
So how does all of that associate with daily to-do’s, actions and projects?
Any given software has a specific design in mind; it was made to perform specific actions and operate on a limited screen size.
Our minds are so much more capable than any computer in terms of perspective, cognitive processing and creativity. We should use the computer as one of the tools inside our toolbox but we should never let it be the light which guides us through the dark.
Now open your mind, Free it from the chains of electronic screen sizes. Use your surrounding environment to trigger events or have access to the information you need. Keeping lists and references inside the computer might be the best choice, but when it comes to managing your daily tasks, having each one of them on a single piece of paper or an index card would boost your productivity far and beyond what you could ever imagine.
I will explain in detail in further posts about the Hive, sections, the core and the artifacts I use on my daily routine to manage my projects.
You can view some of them below until my next blog post is ready. You are most welcome to send comments using the contact me page.
While I was thinking of a proper name and a tag line for Visual pathways, no computer was involved during the process other than checking if the name was already taken. All my ideas were laid out in front of me. I could easily manipulate them, add, delete and move them around in a much bigger space than my laptop.
On the cover of my notebook, I have a special place to post important stuff to do when coming back from a meetings. This way, when I come back to my desk, it is immediately visible - No need to remember or open a list of to-dos App.
Setting priorities for a task on the quadrant matrix is a fun very efficient way. Each card can be easily placed and freely moved during the process.
There are cases when I need to pick stuff before I leave the office, and the best place I have found is near the edge of the table inside the "departure box". I never miss that box as it is so visible. You can place any object or a note inside that box.
A page holder in my car holds several important notes of things I need to do at my car, such as phone calls, when I get off or into my car. A front and center reminder is much more effective than any digital device which I pull out of my pocket and find the right App to show me that.
A "courier tag" is what I use when I need to remember what to do when I get home. If the tag is empty, there is nothing important to do. If it has a card, than it is very noticeable and easy thing to read.
When I’m just going out and don't carry my bag, I will probably stick notes to my wallet which is the item I will take out of my pocket when I get into the car.