In 2022, with COVID restrictions reducing, I found myself with a lot more work-travel travel. In the interest of being more environmentally conscious, and since I am now living in mainland Europe1, I decided to use the train as much as possible. There are also selfish reasons, of course, I enjoy train travel and have an interest in railways.
The result of this “year of trains”2 is that I enjoyed many days, and sometimes multiple days, travelling by train to different parts of Europe. And in addition to the ease of train travel, I have found an additional benefit, which I feel other “knowledge workers” (to borrow a phrase I don’t like from Cal Newport’s Deep Work) may be interested in. This is trains as a Deep Work space.
The idea of a Deep Work space is introduced in Cal Newport’s book, perhaps without using that term. This is a space that is conducive to working deeply – where you can focus singularly on the task at hand. And trains have allowed me to achieve this.
There are a few factors, that I think are contributing to this:
This is why, I believe that if a “knowledge worker” has some travel to perform and can define a self-contained task (that doesn’t require massive amounts of internet access), they should consider travelling by train. They can spend the time working productively, without the stress of the airport and with the confidence that they are helping the environment just a little bit.