I just realized today why I like going to conferences so much. It allows me to think.

This is so because usually getting to a conference involves travel and traveling has always induced high quality thinking in my brain. I don’t know why, but I find the whole experience of moving very inspiring. No matter if this is by plane, train or car my mental gears spin faster. This is a creative time also because this is usually a when I can’t use my computer, I’m not answering phone calls and generally I have less distractions.

In any case I’m finding out, that without a few hours of travel every month I’m deprived of some of my quality thinking time I used to have.

But the conference experience doesn’t end there – it also gives me time to actually listen to people talking about subjects of interest with full concentration. And ask them questions. Not possible with some interesting lectures available on Google Video and other sites. First, because it is surprisingly hard to find a free hour within a day to listen to them. Second, because there is no interaction.

Finally, on a conference I get usually a few hours of very good work on my computer in the evening. Again, precisely for the reason outlined above – less distractions.

Seems like I have to cut down distractions to move faster, the problem is that Internet is just one huge distraction. And with a laptop and Wi-Fi it is almost everywhere now.