Beyond the Build


Cruising Altitude.

Time is what we want most, but what we sometimes use the worst. Time is also our greatest commodity.

In business, there are some fields where this is more obvious, like “service professionals” including accountants, marketing firms and IT folks who charge by the hour. Lawyers break their actions into billable segments of .1, or 6 minutes. Time is their essence.

For the rest of us–those who might not have to document every moment–time is still a precious commodity all too often wasted.

In our world of constant distractions, it seems there is no time left for brainstorming; for those moments when our minds wander and great thoughts surface. We are too busy with the doing to bother with the thinking. So how do we make the time for reflection and insight?

For me, that time is found in a place of unplugged isolation.

I spend a fair amount of time on airplanes and I do not carry any electronics other than my laptop and phone, which is switched off. I refuse to watch movies or listen to music on the plane. To me, gazing out over the clouds at 30,000 feet it is a great time to think about things I am too busy to address on the ground.

It’s a feeling of freedom. It’s also a place where my best thoughts have the opportunity to bubble up.

Where do you find your thoughts?


Merrill Stewart Jr.

Merrill Stewart is Founder and CEO of The Stewart/Perry Company, a commercial building contractor based in Birmingham.