On reflection from yesterday, one other thing that's most definitely changed in the 8 or 9 years since I was a regular commuter; Laptop club. In fact it's got completely out of hand.
It seems that if you're on a train out of London on any given weekday, you absolutely must fire up your laptop and appear to be working on something of great importance. I fear that what's actually happening is these people didn't have enough time in their working day to deal with all the email and/or write up the results from the meetings and brainstorming sessions they've attended. Not only that, but the majority of these people appear to be fraught and generally weary after what has obviously been a long day in the city. So what's the answer?
It's two fold.
1) Reduce email to zero (the zero inbox principle) and
2) Improve note taking in meetings to the point that they are complete when the meeting is complete. (the zero post meeting scribe principle).
You may already have heard of number one (and if you haven't you really should have read this article ), but number two is a newer one now that the technology is catching up. With a combination of tools such as
Note Sharing (Evernote) and Online storage replication (Dropbox)
And good old typing in your meeting
you should actually be able to get a hell of a lot done and captured instantly rather than endless editing all the way home.
But to my mind the driver for this is something far far more important than the technology which is a means to an end.
Treat your working day like a story; with a beginning middle and most importantly an end.
If you don't do that, then what little life you do have will simply disappear altogether and let me tell you a secret.....You will never, ever under any circumstances whatsoever get that time back.
It's up to you though.
Perhaps you've persuaded yourself that by giving away a couple more hours of your (yes it's yours and no one else's) time for free, you'll reap a greater reward. Not a bit of it. In the corporate world, you are almost certainly a number and not an individual. There are some small exceptions to this rule - mostly if you're self employed - but the basic truth is still very real regardless of the circumstances.
You are only here once. There are not two attempts. You have choices, and the strength to make them.
Something to think about isn't it?
This post originally appeared here: Posterous