Most workers spend a large amount of time on their daily commute. This journey occurs twice daily, for anywhere between half an hour to an hour, or even more each way. This means spending two hours or more daily just sitting on a bus or train, or behind the steering wheel of your car.
The bustle of a busy transit system in the mornings and evenings presents a stressful environment that does nothing to improve your mood. The good news is that you can change your commute around to be an enjoyable, and even productive experience.
You can spend those minutes between home and work in a way that fuels you for the day, or winds you down after a long day at work. After all, this is typically the only time you have to yourself without responsibilities from work or home bearing down on you. Below are a few ways to make your commute more enjoyable.
1. Read a book
Whether reading your favorite paperback of the moment or an e-book on your phone, the time during your commute is a good time to get through the pages. With no other tasks calling for your attention, it is easy to concentrate on your book.
2. Listen to podcasts and audiobooks
If you’re driving, reading a physical book is not possible, so hook up your phone to your car stereo and listen to an audiobook instead. This is also a great time to tune in to podcasts about your favorite topics. You might even learn something.
The best time to brainstorm is when you’re not doing anything that requires a lot of mental attention. While you sit on transit, allow your mind to wander. Explore ideas and reflect on others. You might be surprised with what you eventually come up with.
4. Plan your day
An organized day is a productive day. Use those minutes before you get to work to review your schedule and set down your to-do list. The simple action of planning the day ahead of time will have you feeling better and more optimistic. The commute from work is also a good chance to mark your accomplishments for the day and plan the next day.
5. Try a different route
Taking the same route to work each day, every week for years upon years can get boring, tiring, and dull. A simple route switch can work wonders in making your commute feel more positive. This might also include changing up your means of transportation. Walking part of the way through scenic sidewalks will also enrich the experience.
The isolation and inactivity that comes with commuting presents a great opportunity to meditate. Meditating can be as easy as simply unplugging your mind from the surroundings and concentrating on your inner self. Let go of all your worries about work or home and let your mind recharge itself.
7. Make a playlist
While driving, music can be all that keeps you company. Make a morning drive playlist that calms you and soothes your mood in readiness for the day ahead. Sing along if you want to.
8. Disconnect and just relax
Put away your phone, laptop, and work planners. Take this time to just sit and relax with no emails, no social media, no work-related activities. This is your “you-time” and you’re free to do absolutely nothing.