I talked a few months ago about how we don’t all really have the same amount of time in the day, and I thought I’d share one of my favorite tips (albeit one I’ve not used lately due to COVID) — take an Uber or Lyft to your next meeting.
When I’m out and about during the day at lunch or business meetings, the drive back and the step back into the chaos of the office can be tough. I’ll know I missed a dozen emails while I was out, and I have more people needing my attention right away and it makes me feel disheveled. Having that 20 minute ride in an Uber to catch up on email/Slack/etc for a bit to set priorities for the rest of the day can be gold. After that ride, when I get back to the office I know exactly where my priorities need to be.
David Allen says it’s essential to have a “mind like water” (which I cover a bit here), and be able to respond appropriately to things that come your way. You can only do that if you’re on top of your inputs, and that quick break in the day can be nice.
Truth be told, on a 20 minute Uber ride I usually only process email for perhaps half of it. I don’t like to respond from my phone if I can help it, so once I know what’s waiting for me and what’s important, I can take the other 10 minutes to just relax and catch my breath. It’s wonderful.
To see how helpful this has been (or not), I periodically track the effectiveness of it. Here is a snippet of my tracking from last year:
Most of it is self-explanatory with the exception of “Value”. That column is something that applies directly to me — how helpful to my day was taking this particular Uber/Lyft? The busier the day, the more valuable it was and that’s been an interesting metric to track. Also of note, the “cost” column includes both trips for the meeting (to/from the office).
You’ll also notice that despite the title of this post including the words “everywhere you go”, I usually only do this about once a week for now (again, COVID aside). I think a day is coming when many of us won’t own a car and will using some combination of ride services and self-driving cars for everything, but we’re still some years from that.
I encourage you to try it sometime. If you’re in the midst of a crazy busy day and have to head out somewhere, let someone else drive so that you can relax and stay ahead of things.