***Drafted on the 21:00 from London Euston to Manchester Piccadilly, 16th January 2013***

The clock ticks past midnight, they’ve started handing out the complimentary chocolaty snacks, the lights shut off on the station outside the window…

It certainly wasn’t the highlight of my week but being trapped aboard a severely delayed Virgin Train just south of Stockport did give me the luxury of time to think.

Time to think… step back… reflect… How ‘timely’ I thought as only earlier in my journey (although for it to constitute a journey I hope I eventually reach my destination!) I had been reading how Google have since 2002, afforded their staff 20% of their ‘working week’ to being able to ‘think different’ (to coin a phrase from those folks at Apple) and work on R&D projects.

Scanning through another article I read a quote from Karl Gregory, Managing Director of match.com, on his company’s approach to investing 5-10% of their monthly marketing budget (and in turn effort) on experiments. This in turn encourages the match.com team to be focused on getting 90% right, knowing that the ‘tests’ might fail or flourish.

This got me considering about where I’d find my 5, 10, 20% – can I work more effectively, can I cut out the distractions to eke out and extra hour here or a half a day there?

20%… that might pushing it but 20 minutes a day surely that’s doable? So I here by commitment to my own R&D (read and do) time, my own space to learn, think of new solutions and to innovate – even if only in baby steps and preferable not during another train ride from hell.

***Footnote: I did make it home in the early hours of Thursday morning… well at least I avoided the snow!***

Image c/o binaryCoco licensed under Creative Commons.