On Holographic Thinking and Holographic Working

Image by rihaij from Pixabay

Enter Holographical Thinking

Holographical thinking means you can think and make instant connections at a high level of abstraction and think about multiple ideas/relationships/connections at once. (My view differs slightly from the traditional NLP definition). For example, you can think at a literal level, as well as an abstract level and at an archetypal/symbolic level. You can think about the contents and the context. You also get comfortable with paradox and ambiguity. It is part of complex thinking.

Holographic Thinking as a human ability can be fun, yet, daunting at the same time. Holographic Working involves using Holographic Thinking to make progress on various projects at the same time. There is a risk though, usually associated with multitasking: The cost of switching from one project to another can be high, and lead to decreased productivity. This is why a lot of studies recommend to avoid multitasking (see this article by Harvard Health and this article on the multicosts of multitasking).

Holographic Thinking and Working are different from multitasking. They actually are an evolution, or a way of taking multitasking to a higher level of effectiveness.

When a person multitasks, they are, within the same time slot (say an hour) doing several things at the same time. For instance: you’ll be answering an email while watching a YouTube video while on the same time attending an online meeting… That works effectively for very few people.

Holographic Working is different: On the course of your week (and your day, your month, your year, and… over the course of your whole life), you’ll be working on various projects with different kinds of people. This adds variety to your schedule and allows your unconscious mind to work on the tasks that you are not consciously working on. It gives it time and space to grow the seeds creatively that you have planted consciously.

For instance, I have been serving business students through online workshops, others with a course on Conscious Business, while also serving coaching clients and writing articles. All this in the same week. Some believe in ultra-specialization. I don’t.

“A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.”

Robert A. Heinlein

Take away the “butcher a hog”-part and other old-paradigm thinking elements, and keep the idea from this quote. 😉

If you enjoy variety (maybe because you are an enneagram 7, or if you are a 1 and thrive as a 7), you might enjoy working holographically. [If you don’t know your enneagram type yet, feel free to take this test !]

Some years back, I was telling a friend about an issue I was having, (he is a Business Strategy lecturer in a top business school). I was looking for a way to move forward step-by-step in a very linear way. And he told me:

“It’s funny you say that. Because right now, you see your life as a succession of steps, in a sequential way (first I’ll do this, then I’ll do this).

But I see my life as a series of layers, which all co-exist at once, and I navigate between all of them.”

That was an insight for me.

It is the same as the “Lasagna Karma Theory” evoked by Bernard Werber in his Encyclopedia of Relative and Absolute Knowledge, p. 237 (translation mine):

A strange idea came to me. Time might not be linear but “lasagnic”. Instead of following each other, layers of time pile on one another. In this case, we are not living an incarnation, and then another, but an incarnation AND simultaneously another one. We might be living simultaneously a thousand lives in a thousand different epochs in the future and in the past. What we take for regressions are in fact only insights into these parallel lives.”

That is holographic thinking.

When you act on one part of the hologram, it has repercussions on all the others.

In terms of personal growth, it means that when you improve/heal/focus on one area of your life, it has an effect on all the others.

When you help one person in an organization, it helps all the others.

When my boat lifts up, all the other boats lift up too.

When you do what’s best for you, you automatically do what’s best for others. (This doesn’t mean you can do anything, but when you authentically and sincerely do what’s best for you, it helps everyone else).

Tools for Holographic Working and Thinking

One of the challenges of holographic working and thinking is that most tools are designed for linear and sequential work.

So here are some that have helped me along the way:

***Google Calendar:

I plan my meetings and coaching sessions. I use colors for different kinds of meetings (orange for coaching and business, blue for ESSEC Business School appointments, and green for personal).

For example:

I make themes and group my time slots according to the mindset I have to be in.

Mornings for creative time, prep work and professional reading/study. (Except for Tuesday mornings where I receive coaching and meet with two business partners).

Afternoons for coaching my clients.


I take notes on everything.

This is where I compile bibliographies by themes of interest to me (Yoga, Coaching, Spirituality, Conscious Business, Personal Readings, …), where I make plans.

This is a highly practical tool for Holographic Thinking as when I read a book, I can easily split up the contents in various different notes. For instance, if I read a passage which talks about 2 different aspects of Conscious Business: Psyche and Prosperity, I can mention the 2 items in 2 different notes.

Then later, when I write about the Psyche aspect of CB, I will find all my references from various sources compiled in the same note.


Probably one of the best investments I made in the last 2 years.

I take most of my notes in this magical device. I have organized folders, and can easily access, edit, and complete my notes. I feel 0 guilt writing as much as I want as I know I am not cutting off any trees as I do so.

Very convenient to have folders according to my working themes (Personal Development, Finances, Research, Conscious Business, Coaching, …).

***The Eisenhower Matrix

“Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.”

Abraham Lincoln

One of the best tools when I have too much on my to-do list.

When I don’t know what to focus on and how to prioritize things, that’s the tool I use.

You can learn more about this tool here, and download a template here.

***Getting Things Done – David Allen

I heard about this approach most recently, and it seems very handy.

I need to explore further (and you might want this too).

What are your insights?

What are you going to do about them?

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