Being productive on your commute to work

Written by
Tamir Davies

06 Oct 2017

06 Oct 2017 • by Tamir Davies

Scarily, that’s 21 days over the course spent simply sitting on a train. And for some unfortunate commuters, their commute necessitates a longer journey that the average 2 hours. 

So, why not find out how to make the best use of time on your train commute, which will benefit your work flow and productivity.

Jot down some ideas for your morning meeting

Most offices choose to hold a morning meeting when they believe their staff are at their freshest and are most likely to offer constructive and creative ideas. However, one or two offices hold theirs at the end of the day when staff are eager to head home to their families and would rather be anywhere other than in that meeting.

Often, staff are reluctant to offer up ideas in the vague hope that this would result in the meeting being adjourned sooner rather than later. This common misconception often leads to meetings being drawn out far longer than required, owing to a lack of ideas and creativity being offered during the session. To shave off valuable minutes which could be spent with your loved ones at home, why not speed up the process by bullet pointing some ideas to offer up during the meeting? This will further demonstrate both initiative and a willing attitude to your superiors, which may stand you in a better stead should a promotion become available. 

Trawl through your unread emails

A staggering amount of emails clutter our inboxes on a daily basis. The majority of individuals and businesses leave the vast proportion unopened. Eventually, emails that may have potentially offered some insightful or important information to the recipient become lost in email archives. By blocking spam emails and deleting irrelevant information; you are more likely to be able to identify potentially important information and identify / acquire relevant business contacts.    

Keep your diary in check

Typically, the greater your pay packet, the greater your responsibility in the company. Juggling meetings, appointments, your own responsibilities, and checking through others work can produce a pretty tight and hectic schedule. In such cases, it is easily for the ball to be dropped when there are so many tasks that need to be completed or addressed. Agreeing to attend a particular meeting and then failing to show is definitely considered to be bad form. Ensuring everything is actually written in your diary allows you a better chance of achieving your goals. 

Schedule reminders of what's to come

Another way in which you can prompt yourself to remember important events, meetings or tasks is to set reminders on your phone, tablet or on your computer. Such reminders can also be used to notify your team of an upcoming event or meeting, keeping everybody ‘in the loop’. You can further set up a request to verify that they have received the email and plan to attend the meeting. Sticky tabs can also be useful for you own personal diary as they help to identify significant events. 

Make notes and highlight data from important documents

Another use for sticky tabs is to highlight areas of interest in important documents. Often, when at work, many people make demands on your time, making it more difficult to identify potential problems, think of viable solutions, or to properly absorb what is actually being discussed in a document. Due to our busy schedules, we have become a nation prone to skim-reading. Such practises often accounts for a large proportion of problems that occur, due to employees not being on the same metaphorical page.  


Stay tuned with world news

Although some newspapers are full of sensationalist journalism, others offer a wealth of information. By keeping up to date with current affairs, you are able to draw on up-to-date information. This will enable you to shape an informed opinion on matters that may be relevant to your company. It further builds on your ability to engage others in interesting discussions – a truly valuable skill. Finally, learning about other cultures, opinions and beliefs will give you a better understanding about how best to reach new communities and markets for your business.   

Do not fear striking up a conversation

One of the biggest unspoken social faux pas appears to be the act of speaking to other commuters on the train. The fear of irritating a sleepy commuter is usually overwhelming, thus many do not run the risk of starting up a conversation with those sat in close proximity to themselves. However, people, on the whole, are interesting. Since when did we lose our sense of fun, compassion and become so jaded by the world?

As crazy as it may sound, each individual is a wealth of knowledge, ideas, anecdotes and passions. Traveling hours appear to be shortened when you spend the time talking to someone. Human interaction can be as stimulating as a morning coffee. Hear new jokes or tales of travel. You’ll be surprised how easy it is to strike up a conversation simply by commenting on something as simple as the weather or how quickly the year appears to be passing.