Where are you most productive?

May be it’s just me, but I find that certain places allow me to be more productive than others. 

For example, I find these places rather good when it comes to getting things done:

  1. airport departure lounges
  2. on a plane
  3. on a train
  4. sometimes, on a bus
  5. hotel lounges / bars, sometimes even hotel rooms

The reason I find most of these places so good for productivity stems from any combination of the following:

  • Public transport, e.g. buses.  We have no control over how fast they go.  If you arrive at your destination late, perhaps because of heavy traffic, there is little you could do about it.
  • Airlines.  Like public transport, there’s little we can do to make the “process” go any faster.  If you are delayed, too bad, nothing you can do will make the aircraft depart any faster or any closer to its original departure time.  And once you’re in the air, headwinds, tailwinds, all you can do is sit there and get one with something, it’ll take as long as it takes.  Use the time usefully and productively.  You may struggle in some lounges where other users insist upon using their mobile ‘phones and are almost shouting to the person at the other end – this is annoying me as I type this, there are two loud-mouths talking tripe on their ‘phones on my left and my right.
  • You are unknown.  In a lounge, nobody knows who you are or what you do.  You won’t get any drive-by help-desk type requests.  You won’t get anybody shouting ay you to deal with their request before you deal with the task that was on your mind when they came over and started shouting, etc.

Even if you manage to play out what I refer to as a “James May Moment” – whereby you realise that public transport is going so slow, you decide to oust the driver and drive yourself, knowing you can drive faster – it’s unlikely that your intervention will have any downstream benefits whatsoever.

So far, I have refrained from buying cheap tickets in order to get time “air-side” where I can get things done without interruption…but it could happen!