Cell phones are a godsend to workaholics. They also serve to annoy fellow bus or subway passengers to no end. How would you feel if someone was talking loudly into your ear—and not even directing his words at you—for an entire hour? You’d be pretty annoyed, too! You might think doing it in the privacy of your own car is better, but no. Distracting yourself that way could lead to a serious car accident—even with Bluetooth headsets.
There are other ways of staying productive that don’t involve talking on a cell phone. Hard to believe, but it’s true.
Audiobooks are a great way to spend idle time in traffic or on the bus. There are many reference books and non-fiction titles available to choose from, no matter what your industry is. The beauty of audiobooks is that the longer your commute is, the more you learn.
If your commute is too short to listen to 20-hour audiobooks, then try listening to podcasts. They’re a lot shorter and more topical, and new episodes are released on a fairly regular basis.
Be Smart with Your Smartphone
You may not be able to talk on your cell phone without being a nuisance, but nothing’s stopping you from using your smartphone apps. Mobile Internet service is (relatively) dirt cheap nowadays, and some project management software tools allow you to log in via your mobile and keep track of things while you’re on the bus. And, of course, there are the traditional applications like sending emails, texts, and playing Angry Birds.
And just so you know: Using your smartphone while driving? VERY bad idea.
No, we’re not saying you should sit on the floor of a train and start humming. What we’re saying is that you should disconnect for a while and use this time for some cerebral activity.
Like what? Plan out your day, maybe. Rehearse that client presentation. Think about how you’re going to get your project back on track. Or maybe you can even—god forbid—relax.