Another day, another commute. For some it could be a two-hour commute on the train, for others it might be half an hour in the car and for the lucky ones, a 10-minute walk. The average British worker spends one hour and 38 minutes commuting each day (source) packed in like sardines on a crowded train or driving in stop-start traffic.
I think we'd be hard pushed to find someone who loved commuting but could we learn to hate it less? We think so. This time slot when you're almost forced into not doing anything besides getting yourself from A to B can actually be one of the most relaxing parts of your day. By changing your way of thinking and utilising this time for yourself, you may even find yourself enjoying your commute. So if you're someone who loves their job but hates their commute, we hope the tips below help make your commute more productive and relaxing.
- Listen to podcasts - Podcasts are growing in popularity, are a great way to make your commute more productive and fun and the best thing is that you can listen to them anywhere. With thousands of options available online from drama series such as Serial to news based podcasts such as BBC Global News to learning a new language with Coffee Break French.
- Listen to or read a book - How many of us have said that we don't have time to read books anymore; our guess is there's a fair few of us out there. The reality is that we do still have time but with social media, mobile gaming and constantly being connected, the time that we would have previously spent reading, is now spent doing other activities. So log-out of social media, pick up a good book and you'll soon find that your commute passes by in a flash.
- Try meditation - Yes we know what you're thinking, driving or on sitting on a busy tube isn't the calmest place to meditate but you'd be surprised. During your next car or train journey, try Danny Penman's (author of Mindfulness: Finding Peace in a Frantic World) 'Sounds and Thoughts Meditation'. Click here for full details and a downloadable audio file.
- Unplug - So many of us spend the majority of our waking lives plugged into technology even during our downtime and it could be raising our stress levels and impacting our wellbeing. Instead of checking social media, messaging friends on WhatsApp, making phone calls or reading books on on a Kindle, try powering down your digital devices and use this free time to read a book or just be mindful.
What not to do - It's easier said than done but we think it's important to try and avoid doing work on the commute to and from work. If you're checking emails or writing that report, then in effect you are extending your work day and therefore making it feel longer than it actually is. Use this time to grow and relax on a personal level.