Commuting is something that most of us will do at some point in our lives. Whether it is commuting for work or study, whether it is by train, tram, bus or car. Whilst the modes of transport and other details may vary, it is safe to say that we will all probably share in the frustration of commuting at some point.
My daily train journey to work for my current role takes around 50 minutes each way (and that’s when everything is running smoothly!). I have been doing this commute for just over 2 years. I have to admit that sometimes it can actually feel like you have done a day of work before you even step foot into the office. Honestly, I’m not exaggerating, the worst part of my day is my commute.. And it’s not because of the overcrowding or the invasion of personal space, or having to stand up the whole way, or even because of the overpowering scents of cigarettes, coffee and sweat which is hard to face at any point of the day, let alone first thing in the morning (I despise these things too!). My commute is the worst part of my day because more often than not I waste the most precious thing in the world – time.
As I look around the train, I see people from all walks of life. Most of them have their phones glued to their hands and the same blank expression displayed across their faces. It’s a familiar image, give or take some faces, and this is my view to and from work every morning and every evening.
I too am guilty of this. If I’m lucky enough to get a seat, I sit there pointlessly scrolling through different social media channels, The Daily Mail and any other App that takes my fancy in my mindlessness. You couldn’t even call it reading – I just look at stuff and don’t even take it in. Even just thinking now about how I practically waste almost two hours a day making the same journey that I know like the back of my hand and not doing anything productive within that time, annoys me.
It can be so easy to waste your precious time during your commute and recently, I have been trying to combat this by keeping busy and trying to be productive.
So, here are my combat-your-commute-and-use-your-time-wisely top tips:
1. Actually read (scrolling through stuff aimlessly does not count!) Take an actual book with you on your journey and read it.
2. Write. If you’re not into writing, use your commute as an opportunity to keep a journal and write down your thoughts and feelings each day – this is beneficial in more ways than one!
3. Listen to music. Your favourite songs or upbeat music is a great way to start the day! Plus, it might help to distract your senses from the other unpleasant things you encounter on your journey..
4. Use your commute to make meaningful contact with your loved ones. Call that distant relative or message that friend that you haven’t caught up with in a while.
5. Two words: personal admin. Use the time to tick some things off your to do list, whether it is making that dentist appointment, looking for car insurance renewal quotes, buying a birthday present. Whatever it is – be productive.
These ideas have been working for me – give or take a couple of procrastinating journeys!
I hope that they too can help you to start making the most of your commute!
A typical evening view for me. Commuting is much more difficult in Winter.[/caption]
What are your top tips for making the most of your commute?