Regular readers of this blog will be aware that the blog has had a very patchy few days. Life, as John Lennon reputedly said, is what happens when you’re making other plans. I’d like to add that life is what happens when you step away from the keyboard and do cool stuff like go with your niece to ‘The Deep’ in Hull, go to see the Arctic Monkeys with my wife, attend meetings and do paid work – and generally do stuff involving the outside world.
However, it was bugging me that I was slipping on my personal target which was to blog most days – ideally every day – and so I’ve been extremely lucky today to have to travel up to Harrogate again – a total of around an hour and a half on the train each way – three hours of sitting in Northern Rail’s finest carriages. Wonderful!
And for once I’m not being sarcastic! I charged up the Netbook, didn’t pack the mobile broadband dongle and here I am between Wakefield and Leeds bashing out the second blog post of the morning in to Open Office. When I get home tonight I hope to have 4 or 5 posts based on ideas I’ve had over the last week but where I’ve not had time to actually type them out. I can then load them in to WordPress and publish as required. There are few distractions on a train journey (assuming you don’t end up sharing a carriage with football fans or small children) and if you disconnect any Internet access to your computer you can really settle down and get stuff done!
And that’s the trick – disconnect the Internet connection . I find that Twitter and Facebook can be real time thieves. What I’ve now started doing when I want to achieve anything on a train journey is to either leave the Broadband Modem at home or leave it in the bottom of my bag. I don’t have email installed as standard on my Netbook – only if I’m going to be away for a few days – and so there’s rarely a reason to be on-line when I’m really busy. If I need to check a link or get a reference, I’ll make a note in my Open Office document and when I’ve finished doing what I need to do I can go back on-line and tidy up such loose ends, By not having a live Internet connection running all the time, I don’t get tempted to go swanning off on to web sites, I save battery power and am generally more productive and focussed.
Maybe the next time I get REALLY far behind with things, or perhaps when I need to develop a stock pile of blog articles, I should just buy a day return to Edinburgh and spend the day on the train!