3 Ways To Knock Out Tasks On Your Long Morning Commute
The Monday after New Year meant most were heading back to work. And if you work in Sydney, you just might be getting into the office now. Broken traffic lights led to hours-long commutes that people weren’t quite prepared for the first day back from holiday. With George Street closed for repairs, several people sat frustrated on buses and in their cars.
Now, if you commute in Sydney, hopefully you take public transportation so you at least have something to do to pass the increasing traffic times between home and work. However, if you don’t and are stuck in a traffic jam like today’s, you’re going to need a way to pass the time.
Here are a few suggestions. Remember, keep it hands free!
Start that book you’ve been meaning to for ages.
You can even do this hands free! (I’m not kidding.) Sometimes people relegate audio books into a category containing old ladies that have bad eyesight, but that doesn’t have to be the case. If you had started one of last year’s bestsellers in the car this morning, you could have already been three hours into the audio track. And it’s not just for entertainment value. Depending on your tastes in novels, you could improve your vocabulary—most of the classics have passed their copyright, meaning many are free. Also, your ability to focus can be improved, and listening could help you through the stressful commute without losing your cool.
Make your grocery or to-do list.
No writing it down, ladies and gentlemen. If you have a smartphone, chances are is that there is some kind of dictation app or software available: my iPhone 5s has Voice Memos. If you can stomach the sound of your own voice on playback, this is a great way to eat up some time and be productive.
Catch up with the office or loved ones.
It should be noted that your attention is divided while talking on the phone and driving, even when it’s hands free. That being said, if you are in bumper to bumper traffic with no movement in sight (and it’s not a ridiculously early hour), you have a great opportunity to get started on the day’s correspondence. Is your assistant already in the office? Give him or her a call and get your morning update done remotely. Haven’t called your mum in a while? You’ve got the perfect opportunity to be the loving son or daughter with the perfect excuse to cut the conversation short if you start to move.
Business Chief Legend: Ho Ching, CEO of Temasek
Ask Singaporeans who Ho Ching is, and the majority will answer the ‘wife of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’. And that’s certainly true. However, she’s also the CEO of Temasek Holdings, Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund, and one of the world’s largest investment companies.
Well, she is until October 1, 2021, as she recently announced she would be retiring following 16 years as CEO of the investment giant.
Since taking the reins in 2004, two years after joining Temasek as Executive Director, Ho has gradually transformed what was an investment firm wholly owned by Singapore’s Government into an active investor worldwide, splashing out on sectors like life sciences and tech, expanding its physical footprint with 11 offices worldwide (from London to Mumbai to San Francisco) and delivering growth of US$120 billion between 2010-2020.
Described by Temasek chairman Lim Boon Heng as having taken “bold steps to open new pathways in finding the character of the organisations”, Ho is credited with building Temasek’s international portfolio, with China recently surpassing Singapore for the first time.
As global a footprint as Ho may have however, she has her feet firmly planted on Singapore soil and is committed to this tiny city-state where she was not only educated (excluding a year at Stanford) but has remained throughout her long and illustrious career – first as an engineer at the Ministry of Defence in 1976, where she met her husband, and most notably as CEO of Singapore Technologies, where she spent a decade, and where she is credited with repositioning and growing the group into the largest listed defence engineering company in Asia.
It’s little wonder Ho has featured on Forbes’ annual World’s Most Powerful Women list for the past 16 years, in 2007 as the third most powerful woman in business outside the US, and in 2020 at #30 worldwide.
But it’s not all business. Ho has a strong track record in Singapore public service, serving as chairman of the Singapore Institute of Standards and Industrial Research and as deputy chairman of the Economic Development Board; and is a committed philanthropist with a focus on learning difficulties and healthcare.
As the pandemic kicked off, she not only led active investments in technology and life sciences, with German COVID-19 vaccine developer BioNTech among the most recent additions to Temasek’s portfolio, but through the Temasek Foundation – the firm’s philanthropic arm which supports vulnerable groups close to Ho’s heart, handed out hand sanitiser and face masks.
So, you would be forgiven for thinking that at age 68, Ho might simply relax. But in March 2021, just as she announced her retirement from Temasek, Ho joined the Board of Directors of Wellcome Leap, a US-based non-profit organisation that’s dedicated to accelerating innovations in global health. Not ready to put her firmly grounded feet up yet it seems.