Don’t Waste Precious Travel Time! 10 Ways to Make Your Morning Commute Count
Think the everyday slog that is the morning commute the bane of your existence? This is a time of day which can be utilised to its maximum potential. Instead of cursing your daily commute, improve how you spend your travel time so that you can arrive to work and head home with a positive mindset.
The average morning commute in London is
For 3.7 London workers, it’s
The morning commute already eats into time with your family and what little precious me-time you have left from a demanding job. Don’t make it any worse by wasting away this time of day! There are many ways you can make it a productive travel time that energises and generates creativity, giving you a better work-life balance.
1. Plug in
Tune into the world on your morning commute. Become engaged with what is happening in the world, catch up with headlines in newspapers, magazines and blogs. This keeps you up to date with anything that can impact your industry. You could make this your dedicated social media time, to stop you procrastinating during work time. If reading is difficult, there are many free podcasts on a range of stimulating topics you could plug into; from politics to fashion debates. Discover a different perspective and it will take your mind away from the packed public transit.
2. Creative Spark
Reading fiction or jotting down some original phrases can be a great way to get the creative juices flowing, especially if this is your line of work. Listen to an addictive audiobook or try keeping a journal to get you inspired, keep your mind active and discover new ideas.
3. Mindfulness and Well-Being
Use this travel time to relax and refresh. Closing your eyes, looking out of the window or listening to calming music can act as a form of meditation. This can be particularly helpful for very early morning commutes or soothing work-related anxieties. When you arrive at your destination, you will be in a more rested state and better equipped to begin your tasks.
If the daily commute makes you feel lonely, find someone to join you; friend, family or colleague. If this isn’t possible, you can call someone on the phone. This is a worthwhile option if you are walking or driving somewhere alone, and can help you catch up with family time. Engaging in conversation could help energise you for the work time ahead, especially for those with more extroverted personality types. It can get you into the mood for working with more people as soon as you arrive.
5. Out Loud
If you’re at the wheel, take advantage of being in your own space and be as loud as you want. It’s the perfect place for letting it all out. You can blow off steam by venting or singing your stress and worries away. You can practise your speech style at work or rehearse how you would begin a difficult conversation or presentation. Motivate yourself by saying out loud what you want to achieve that day.
6. Switch It Up
Mix things up and keep it fresh by changing your daily commute. Take a different path if you’re driving or try walking some of the way if you normally take public transit. This helps keep you stimulated and prevents you from feeling like your life is on a loop. Walking is a great way to clear the mental cobwebs, especially if it takes you through some scenic areas and gives your mind extra visual notes.
If you are always feeling behind the workload, take advantage of the morning commute to catch up, get ahead and tick off some overdue tasks. Start clearing out your emails so you don’t need to do that at the desk, or make some headway with brainstorming for projects. You can study up on the business by doing extra reading, learn about new management techniques or about other career pathways. If you are unhappy with your role, use this time to job search. If you are driving, you can always make a mental plan for each day and note what you need to finish.
8. Improve Your Morning Routine
You can argue that the morning commute begins as soon as you wake up. If you wake up begrudgingly, you are less likely to enjoy the commute and work itself. Try waking up earlier to do things you like, whatever that may be, and your overall well-being is bound to improve. An ideal morning routine can range from something creative like drawing or making a breakfast treat. You will wake up happier and ready to conquer the day!
Hate those who go to the gym before work? Exercise, especially in the morning routine, is proven to be incredibly energising and will set you up for the rest of the day. You are more likely to burn more calories as your body gets rid of excess sugars if you walk more or even run to work. It’s not about busting dumbbells at the crack of dawn if that sounds like torture but taking care of the whole body’s well-being. If yoga stretches or meditation suit you more, your body will respond better to that.
10. Heading Home
Take this travel time to unwind and reflect on the day. Catch up with yourself; what were you happy about and what is there still left to do. Try writing these thoughts down to save you from a restless sleep. It will also help bring closure to the work day, so you can be fully present for home life.