Open Yourself Up to Learning New Ideas – Like Time Quilting

8407770202_c818e3abb6I’m taking Chris Brogan’s course on creating courses. And when I watched the video in the first installment, he introduced a concept called “Time Quilting.”

Time Quilting is the idea of using bits and pieces of time productively and then “quilting” them together into a big, beautiful product.

Years ago, a businessman I was interviewing told me that he thought of using time in the same way he packed his suitcase. He put in the big garments first and then tucked in the little pieces in the corners and where they fit.

Time Quilting is the opposite. You create the big picture out of little pieces. I suspect that with the scattered nature of our lives, it’s a better image than the suitcase packing model.

My Initial Reaction — Meh

But when I listened to Chris talk about it, I just shrugged.

“Okay,” I thought. “Nothing new. So what.”

And with that dismissive gesture, I let the idea go.

Until the next morning when an email arrived from Chris’ partner, Rob Hatch. And then something remarkable happened — for whatever reason, I decided to pay close attention to Rob’s detailed explanation of Time Quilting.

He noted that it doesn’t work if you grab a few minutes here and there to bounce around and check email (or any other non-focused thing).

But Time Quilting does work under these conditions:

It works… when you specifically respond to emails from your business partner.

It works… when you use 5 minutes to enter a few notes from your last sales meeting.

It works… when you ALWAYS use those moments for highly specific tasks.

All of those small, focused activities combine over time to create a much larger masterwork.

Waking Up to a New Idea

Rob’s explanation got my attention. I stopped shrugging in my know-it-all-way and opened myself up to considering the idea of time quilting.

Better yet, I emailed Rob a note of gratitude. And as I did that, I realized how exciting it is to open yourself up to fresh ideas, and what fun it is to let people know!

I hope I can catch myself earlier next time when I feel my shoulders start to head for my ears in that “so what” shrug. That attitude robs me of the pleasure of learning new things and appreciating the valuable wisdom of others.

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Stop Defending Yourself from New Ideas

Pay attention this week to how often you resist new ideas before you fully understand them. Notice your patterns of resistance so you can nip them in the bud and stay open to fully understanding something new before you reject it.

And then, if you’ve learned something useful, take a moment to express your gratitude.

What’s your pattern of resistance? What does it feel like and what brings it on? Share your experience in the comments.

  • Charlie Donnelly

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