How to increase productivity? Jump on a train

It may sound a bit odd, telling you to jump on a train to increase productivity, especially as I am a devout petrol head and worship at the temple of unleaded (actually four star if you are old enough to remember that).

I now have no problem saying just how much I love the train (it’s been a slow burning romance but I think we have made it now).  I thought it would be useful to share some of my productivity train based tips (and before you ask, yes this was written whilst on the train!)

Why are trains so productive? In my eyes the key areas boil down to the following points:

1  You can’t go anywhere!

Literally, you can’t escape, you are on there for a reasonable period (writing this, right now half way through a three-hour leg of a five-hour journey to Reading). What does this give you? Space and time to reflect and think through the complex stuff you never seem to get time for in the office.

2  Someone brings you tea.

Can I point out this rarely happens in the office. Just kidding, as you know from previous blogs we have a real thirst for tea here at New Results. Lots of tea = lots of productivity.

3  The WiFi and mobile signal is (mostly) rubbish!

Which is brilliant, where else do you get a chance to daydream while watching the world whizz by? And when you stop and think about it, daydreaming and mulling things over is the one area that seems to get squeezed for everyone in business.

4  You get to focus on things without being distracted by colleagues (note point 5 below).

This can give you the impetus you need to finish that proposal, write up that process document or write that blog you never seem to get around to.

5  You can take someone with you to distract you!

I noticed this recently when Mike (my co director) and I took a two- hour train journey to Edinburgh. It gave us a different environment to discuss a number of things and come up with a number of new ideas for projects (many, many cups of tea were consumed)

So, while I love my car (and the reflective time it gives me) I now also love the train, its become a little productivity hub for me, so much so, Mike and I have thought about replicating that journey to Edinburgh for no other reason than to focus on strategy work for our business.

That leads me to a question, where do you go to increase your productivity? What environment works for you when you have lots to achieve?



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