TOKYO COMMUTE

All through my life I have commuted and every time it was the same – drive. Even in the UK, I drove 30 minutes each day to get to the office. My other type of commute was to the airport.

When we moved to Tokyo I continued the airport commuting but added a “first ever” – a walk. I was a 10-15 minute walk to our offices. It was very odd to get use to as it lead to different work behaviours and a little bit of getting accustomed to. For example, as I do a lot of global calls I would often be on the phone at 6AM in the morning and see it trail through the morning with the oddity of having to figure out how to get into the office for a meeting – only 15 minutes away.

This week we moved to a new office and for the first time, I am a commuter. 10 minutes to the train, 20 minutes on the train (with a changeover), 10 minute walk to the office. The first couple days were confusing, although the Metro subway app really helps and I am not into a “rhythm”.

Part of that rhythm is thinking about the time on the train. With train switching between short rides and walking, reading isn’t working so I have lit up my old friend, Audible. My first book is humorous for a Pulitzer prize winning author: Manhood for Amateurs.

As for the Tokyo subway, I will bring my camera along once I settle in a bit more. Too much going on. But I did snap this with my iPhone: a) she looks very young and b) interesting demographic target for whiskey. (Seriously: who puts whiskey in lemonade?) I am sure I will see many different things in the months to come.

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BUBBLE GUM FOR THE BRAIN

Ever sit in your car while commuting home, listening to the radio and thinking “My mind is going numb, I am so sick of the radio”. Well, the radio was once described to me as “bubble gum for the brain”. This was when cell phones were still really expensive (so not everyone had one). The time in the car was truly dead time – you could not use the time to return business calls, check voicemail or chat with friends.
I was told – either listen to the radio and melt your brain or do something with that time: so I started listening to sales tapes (I just threw them out finally, I had hundreds). I attribute that attitude to my success and now – it is even easier. You can download books at a fraction of the cost.
I personally subscribe to the following (I have been a member for 2+ years):  www.audible.com
For $14 per month I get 1 book and 1 periodical (I listen to Harvard Business Review) and a free MP3 player (I gave it to my kids – I listen on my tres cool Pocket PC phone).
Bubble gum for the brain or leverage the time to learn? Your choice. PLUS – this way, when I get home and after the kids are in bed, I don’t feel the need to read, I can watch TV …. (LOL)