It’s easy to default to aimless social-media scrolling when you’re taking a taxi ride, but there are ways to transform that ‘downtime’ into something far more productive. Here, we round up five time-based productivity tips that will have a positive impact on your working day.
Taxi time = 5 minutes
Deal with emails
The average professional spends 28% of their working day reading and answering emails – that’s 2.6 hours per day or 13 hours a week.
You’re probably aware of how counterproductive it is to open your inbox every other minute, given the perceived wisdom that it’s far more efficient to schedule set windows of time for checking your email. The thinking here is that without this incessant interruption, you’re more able to focus on the task at hand. A taxi ride is the perfect time to deal with email, so use it to file, reply and sort.
Feeling really radical? You could use your next taxi trip as an opportunity to kick-start a new and improved system to manage your inbox. How? Well, smartphone notifications are the nemesis of productivity, so why not spend your journey disabling those alerts? That way, you can start dealing with email in bulk at designated times like the business gurus do.
Taxi time = 10 minutes
Is your taxi trip your chance to escape the intensity of your working day? Then why not take that one step further by using it for mindfulness? According to numerous studies, just 10 minutes of meditation can counteract stress, reduce anxiety and help with insomnia – all side effects of the modern working world.
One of the best meditation apps is Headspace, where you can choose the length of your session to suit your journey. There’s also a 14-day free trial, so you can sample one or two before you subscribe.
Taxi time = 15 minutes
Read up on your industry
It’s important to stay on top of industry news and developments, but it’s often hard to find the time. So, a great way to use longer rides is to catch up on what the top thinkers in your business world are doing and saying right now.
Then, if you’re feeling really productive, it’s worth resharing the good reads on your Twitter or LinkedIn accounts with a personal perspective on the issue they’re covering. This not only shows the world you’re on top of the latest trends, but it demonstrates that you aren’t afraid to enter the conversation on what’s causing a stir in your area of business.
Taxi time = 20 minutes
Networking is one of the top ways to gain business. It’s vital to keep up with industry developments and raise your own profile, but when time is precious, it’s all too easy to prioritise work inside your business over networking outside of it.
Because of this, it’s well worth using your taxi trips to actively maintain current relationships or to follow up with people you’ve contacted previously. You never know: the small amount of time you spend reaching out could reap big rewards.
Taxi time = 25 minutes
Listen to podcasts
To go deeper into an interesting topical, tech or business issue, it’s worth listening to a podcast. Usually lasting around 20 to 35 minutes, these enable you to hear from various experts on a single subject, with very little effort required from you. Find the most popular by researching the top-ranked ones from your industry.
To get you started, Exponent gives quality analysis of the tech industry by two hosts who really know their onions. For The Many from LBC focuses its lens on each week’s top political stories, while Full Disclosure with James O’Brien sees the presenter interviewing big names from the worlds of politics, entertainment, news and beyond, including Tony Blair, Ricky Gervais, Deborah Meaden and Steve Coogan.