How To Concentrate and Write When You’re on a Train or Coach

By Subodh / February 18, 2014

Whether you’re a student working towards a degree, an online entrepreneur, or a professional writer, the ability to write anywhere is something that can likely benefit you. This way you can be productive in any situation and create content that you can get paid for, that can promote your business or that can take you closer towards your study goals. You can turn wasted time spent on busses, coaches and trains into a chance to get more work done, and that in turn will then give you more free time to yourself when you get home – or more time to perfect your work.

The problem is that it can be somewhat difficult sometimes to concentrate on writing an essay, article or piece of pros when you’re being shaken around by a coach, when you’re surrounded by other people who keep chatting, and when you need to keep an eye out for your stop.

studying

Fortunately there are many things you can do to counteract this problem, you just need to work out how to focus despite distractions. Here we will look at some tips that can help a great deal so that you can work even when you’re in sub-optimal conditions and still create brilliant texts.

Headphones

headphones

The absolute number one priority if you want to be able to work on the move is to get headphones (and yes that does mean headphones as opposed to earphones). These will allow you to block out background sounds such as people having fascinating conversations on the seat behind you, or babies screaming from elsewhere in the carriage. With the right noise-cancelling technology you can be in your own little ‘sound bubble’ and completely forget the others around you.

Music

listening to music

Now you have your headphones you’re just going to need some music to fill them with so that you drown out what little noise does get through. So what’s the best genre for this kind of thing? Well that’s going to depend partly on your disposition and on your writing/work style – but what I find works best for me is to listen to rave music. Yep you heard that right! Why rave? Because it has no lyrics and no obvious melody – both of which can be distracting – but it’s also loud enough and constant enough to prevent background noise getting through. If you listen to classical music then it might work well, but during the quiet moments you’ll hear people chattering still.

Visual Distraction

You’ve now drowned out the noise which is ideal for concentrating on your work. The next challenge is to avoid all the hubbub and commotion which can also be highly distracting – you need to avoid seeing people moving around and constantly pushing past one another if you’re going to really focus on what you’re doing.

One way to do this is to face into a corner which can immediately give you a little more privacy (this also helps if you have someone reading over your shoulder – highly off-putting). If that doesn’t work though, then you can try opening up a video on your computer and watching that on half the screen. This might sound counter-intuitive to begin with, but it works because you’ll be looking at that rather than what’s going on around you. Of course you want to make this video as non-engaging as possible so that your mind is still free to concentrate on what you’re writing. I find that videos of people playing games work well.

Seat

coach seats

Choosing the right seat is paramount to being able to work well. A corner seat is handy for the reason mentioned above, but even more useful is to get a seat with a table which will allow you to stretch out your arms.

Content

content

Another tip is to choose what you are writing about careful. In some cases this will be out of your control, but when it’s not you should choose a topic or section to write about that requires minimum research and creative and that instead allows you to get into a flow state and just churn out words.

These tips should help you to get quality work done whether you’re on a train or bus rental which will in turn greatly increase the opportunities you have to be productive.