Sitting on the train, I see people doing all kinds of things. Watching movies (some trains I get home travel all the way down to the south coast of England), reading books, listening to music, etc. Looking at all these people, it made me think. How productive is my commute?
A few years ago I attempted to learn French on the train. I downloaded Learn French in Your Car and put it all onto my iPod. It was working pretty well until I moved house and my commute was much shorter (and busier!). Even so, I wish I’d carried on with it – my last visit to Paris was proof that some of it had actually sunk in.
Nowadays I work on my own businesses on my commute. I’m on the train sourcing products, writing blogs, updating my social media. The internet connection isn’t brilliant so sometimes I’m writing blog posts (like this one!!) on my memo app on my phone. Once I’m home I’ll transfer it onto my website.
My partner’s commute doesn’t involve the train. He drives so he can’t do anything on his phone. His choice of activity is generally listening to podcasts and audio books. His favourite one at the moment is Rich Dad Poor Dad so I can enjoy all his investment ideas when I get home each evening!
Although there are a lot of people who do these things on their commute, by far the most popular activity I see people doing on my commute is…sleeping. Before I was absorbing myself in French numbers and nouns, I had sleeping on my commute down to an art. I would be snoozing before I reached the next main station, and I’d wake up just after Stratford. Perfect timing to be alert enough to get off at Liverpool Street. This gave me nearly an hour’s extra sleep every morning, which was gratefully received when I was 21 and still out partying with my friends too many nights a week. I look back now and think what a waste of 20 hours a month. That’s just in the morning! I did the same again on the way home. I did that commute for around 5 years. That’s over 2000 hours of wasted time. Being older and wiser now, if someone gave me 2000 hours to do something, I’d be dreaming of leaning French properly I’d even start blogging (which I have done, and you’re reading it right now!).
But rather than dwell on all the things I could have done with my commute, I’m now starting to actually do something about it. I make a conscious effort to do something on every commute. Even if I shut my eyes for some of the way, I know that I’ve written a paragraph of a blog post, or sent out some social media posts. I make sure that every single commute achieves something towards my goals.
So to answer my own question; “how productive is your commute?”, I’d say that my own commute is very productive. I’ve written a blog post that you have just read!
What have you done on your commute today?