Constructive commuting

Constructive commuting

Now that the family and I have settled into the new house on the central coast, people keep asking about my commuting down to Sydney everyday. Let’s be clear, it is an hour and a half down to Central station. This hasn’t worried me, only because I have my iPhone with me and more recently a neat little 13″ Mac PowerBook.

This means I have the option of music, video, ebooks and anything I might feel like doing on the laptop undisturbed for an hour. It has surprised me just how much writing on my book I have done, even to the point of starting a rough layout of the ebook to see just how many pages it runs to.

There are plenty of people who have a little travel pillow and you can hear snoring away, but catching up on my paperwork or writing a post like this one is a much better use of the time available.

As a freelancer, that time can be spent each day working on projects, giving me just over an hour each morning and again each afternoon. That’s over ten full hours of freelancing that can be done just on the train each week. That reduces the amount of time I have to spend working on weekends so I can spend time with my wife and kids.

Previously my commute was half an hour and I didn’t have an iPhone until fairly recently which meant most of my ideas for self directed work were added to a stack of little notebooks. I still carry one with me everywhere just in case an idea hits, but these days I just fire up the notes app and jot down the idea, the bonus of this is I can email myself the list of ideas to add to my list of things to do. (or fire up the laptop and do the actual design then and there that I had thought of)

I am enjoying the enforced productivity time as I have a list a mile long of things I want to do, which includes self directed work, self promotion, article writing, editing my books manuscript and storyboarding a couple of videos that I am planning on animating for a friends band.

Once you have done something like travelling the same route over and over you begin to experience time compression, by that I mean like it feels as if you had just gotten on the train and you are already at the destination. Which is great, as you don’t feel as tired from the trip.

Working on something makes the time go quickly, and I am sure there are plenty of other ideas for productive things you could be doing in your travel time. Unfortunately the trip I do is through mountains and in bad reception areas so Internet coverage is nonexistent or dropping in and out very weakly at best.

So what do you do on your commute to work?