Day by day, we make our way into work and endure the monotony of a daily commute. Long, tedious and the worst kind of social interaction to be experienced. However, does it have to be this way? The commute is a period of time which instead of being wasted could actually be used as a great way to improve yourself, or, even better, a time of day for you to enjoy yourself.
So, what can you get up during your daily commute that will remove a little bit of the monotony?
Audiobooks or Podcasts
Not enough to read all of the articles or books that are slowly piling up on your bedside table? Lots of people have this same issue. The solution? Taking your reading to an audio level. There are a wealth of audiobooks and podcasts available, with more being created on a daily basis. From fiction to hard facts, there is very little not covered by this growing medium.
A great factor in this is that a lot of podcasts are free – due to advertisements – and audiobooks tend to be relatively cheap. You can occasionally find major discounts on certain books as well, so always keep on eye on the audiobook marketplace.
This in-ear alternative to reading can help to distract you from the monotony of a daily commute, as well as allowing you to learn, find some entertainment and even just enjoy an adventure or two.
Learn a New Language
Did you tend to slack off in your language lessons as a child? Well, now your very adult commute can help mend years of neglect when it comes to your grasp of a foreign language. Apps like Duolingo are fun and informative when it comes to learning a new language. Better yet, each lesson is no more than 15 minutes long. Perfect for fitting into your daily commute!
Make it Stress-Free
This is one that means leaving your house a little earlier in the morning, but worth it if you struggle with a stressful commute that often makes you late. Simply get up and put yourself on the earlier train to the one you usually get. Yes, it might mean waking up earlier. Yes, it may even mean getting to work a lot earlier than you need to.
But, it also means no worries about being late ever again. No clock-watching as the train moved grudgingly along to its destination. Instead, you can sit, relax, maybe even have your breakfast on the go. The world is your oyster when you have more time!
Lots of people consider their commute to be ‘dead time’. A period of the day where you do… nothing at all, really. Staring into space, shoving headphones into your ears to ignore other people and reading the Metro are all highlights of this wasted time. So, why do that to yourself?
A weekly review is something which can help you to reflect on the past week and look forward to the one ahead. It can be useful for getting your thoughts, priorities, and tasks in order for the week. Why not do this on a daily basis? If nothing else, it can help you feel just that little bit more prepared for the day ahead at work.
Practice Your Hobby
Working on a novel in your downtime? Write in on your commute. Do you love sketching as a form of stress relief? Take a drawing pad on the train with you. And so on and so forth. It doesn’t matter what your hobby is, if it’s portable then why not get a little time on it whilst sat on a train/bus/tram.
Note: a bow and arrow, while portable, perhaps isn’t best practised on a train. Hobbies that involve sharp ends are better off left at home, in general.
Of course, for many, there will never be an ideal way to spend a commute as they would rather not have one at all. Ditching it completely, then, would be an ideal solution for these types of people. But, how exactly do you manage that?
Well, the first port of call is to ask your boss whether or not you can work your current job remotely. Whether full time or for just a portion of the week, this could help to cut down a major portion of your stressful commute. Alternatively, you may choose to ditch your job and commute in order to freelance remotely. Or you could choose another career altogether and could even consider taking a fostering allowance as your primary income instead.
If neither of those options appeal to you, there’s always moving closer to where you work in order to cut the commute out completely. Or moving to a location where the commute would be easier, at the very least. This varies depending on your location, so it’s always worth doing a little bit of research before committing yourself to a move in order to ease your commute.
Overall, if you are letting your commute be nothing more than ‘dead time’ then you are wasting a potentially extremely valuable portion of your day. Don’t be afraid to do your hobby, expand your mind or just get rid of your commute completely if it’s a time of day you resent. Make it a time you enjoy and even look forward to instead!