I’d like to start off by saying that those people who get shit done on train journeys are the absolute bane of my life.
It’s bumpy, there are tonne of distractions and absolutely not enough room to crack out the laptop or unroll my A3 content calendar (well unless you’re happy being despised by your seat buddy, which admittedly some people might not give two hoots about).
I always seem to start my train journey well prepared and ready to tackle those things I’ve been ignoring but I leave the train with the same length to-do list and a larger sense of urgency to write that blog post or create my 5-year-plan (probably because the time to think has triggered a deep insecurity about my decisions).
If you’re like me and have these problems (good for you if you’re a much more ‘together’ person) then I have a few ideas of what to do on train journeys. They’re semi-fun things that don’t require a laptop and two chalkboards – they can, however, be chalked up to development – so you don’t waste your whole train journey feet dancing to the same song on repeat.
Listen to a podcast (or three)
Obviously, I love a bit of Sara Tasker’s Hashtag Authentic – full of Instagram tips from the creative and inspirational – and the train is the perfect place to take all the goodness in. Making notes doesn’t take up a great deal of room AND listening to podcasts gives you that sense of satisfaction that you’re bettering yourself and therefore are probably better than your train peers who are probably listening to that U2 album iTunes gave everybody.
Other podcasts I love are The Small & Mighty Podcast, My Dad Wrote A Porno and The Blogtacular Podcast.
Write a blog post on your phone
This is basically what I’m doing right now. I’m only doing it because I decided to wash my hair last night instead of getting something scheduled… but so far I’m enjoying it. Naturally this post seems to be taking a more casual route, snappier sentences and more bitesize paragraphs – both things that I struggle to stick to when writing on a desktop computer.
Update: don’t write a blog post on your phone. Trying to format it is a pain in butt.
Create ten content ideas based on what you can see (probably fields and pylons – so good luck)
A bit of a fun one (jeez what does that say about how I like to have fun) but a great exercise if you’re short of content ideas or if you just need some lateral thinking practice. Taking something like a cow in a field and coming up with your great blog theme of 2018 (I’m thinking either going dairy-free or dressing for your environment) is a pretty magical moment.
Plan Christmas dinner
Maybe my mind wondered a bit during the other activities, what can I say. In my house, Christmas dinner is a big deal. Not so much from the cooking perspective but from the eating one… Last year I cooked Christmas lunch and apart from a nasty blow torch burn on my hand (which my friend later on to think was a pretty eyeshadow swatch) it went swimmingly. Now just to decide on whether to get onboard with that melting chocolate dome craze – should we just stick with Christmas pud?
Create the ultimate playlist
I don’t about other people, but I only have like three songs per playlist, which means that I jump around every 15 minutes and search for something else. Sure, it’s completely a first world problem, but it does waste valuable train activity time. Create your ultimate playlist with every freaking song you love on it – skipping a few tracks is far less time consuming than searching for every genre, artist and song on Spotify.
Study Instagram strategy
How often do we actually look at others’ instagrams and piece together why we like them or why they’re so popular? Take this time to have a breather and appreciate what you might just be a tiny bit envious of. How are people engaging their audiences? What elements of their photography can inspire you?
Sort your phone photos out
*groans* I get it – I hate it too, but as someone with a constantly full storage and 100 new photos every time I style a flat lay, it always needs doing. My general rule of thumb for photos on my phone is to have things in albums. I have an album for photos to go on Instagram, blog photos and more specific albums for certain themes or things like Blogmas. Spend an hour of your journey sorting it (providing you have enough battery) and sit back and smile when finding that cracker of a shot you took last month becomes a breeze.