Whether you're behind the wheel or on public transport, it's surprising how much time we actually spend commuting. Your daily commute may be something that just can't be avoided and can sometimes be annoying, uncomfortable, and quite frankly just a waste of your precious time, but it doesn't have to be.
You could turn your daily commute into something positive and use your time productively with some forward-thinking.
Here are our top tips for how you can make great use of your daily commute:
1. Shorten it or skip it entirely
It seems that the most obvious answer as to how you could make better use of your daily commute would be to ditch it completely. Of course, not all of us can do this as much as we would all probably love to work remotely from home, but how about shortening it? Commuting can take up a lot of our time and energy and by ditching it you could potentially save fuel, transportations and feel more relaxed thanks to skipping it entirely from your daily routine, allowing you to feel less stressed as a result.
2. Practice self-care
Do you find it difficult to make self-care a priority? Do you find that there's not enough time in the day to offset the stress and any anxiety? With so much to do during our day-to-day lives you may find that your commute is the only part of your day where you get any time to yourself, so think about perhaps using this time more wisely and an opportunity to look after yourself rather than dead time. Make yourself a priority, try a meditation technique, or just relax.
Reading supposedly has numerous health benefits so if you use public transport as part of your commute then why not thinking about taking a book with you to read. Similarly, if you're driving to work you could turn on an audiobook. Reading helps to stimulate your brain so if you have a collection of books that are slowly piling up and keep telling yourself that you'll get around to that, maybe now is the time that you tackle that collection and get stuck into a good book to help with that commute time.
4. Change your shoes
Travelling or driving in your professional work attire can sometimes be rather uncomfortable. Your shiny shoes may look great while you're in the office but not so comfortable to drive in or when your running for the train. Bring a change of comfortable shoes and keep them in your car or in your bag so that you can quickly put them on before commuting to and from work. If you feel more comfortable then your commute should be much more pleasant and enjoyable too.
5. Find a better or different route
You could spice up your commute by simply optimising it and finding better and different ways of getting to where you need to be. Traffic can be frustrating and a packed train can be even worse when you're tired or in a rush. Ever thought about walking? You could feel fit and save on your travel costs while getting some fresh air if you can fit walking into your daily routine as much as possible.
6. Brainstorming time
Commuting can be the perfect opportunity to let your mind wander and do a little brainstorming. Some of our best ideas can come during those times when we're alone with our thoughts and we reflect on things that have occurred. So whether you're driving, on a bus, or on a train, follow your thoughts and let your mind wander as you never know what big ideas you might come up with.
7. Squeeze in some work
It would be quite satisfying wouldn't it turning up to work in the morning and having an empty inbox. You could make great use of your commute by getting a head start on your day-to-day tasks by checking in on your calendar, deleting unwanted emails, and replying to those more important ones. By being more productive on your commute, you're more likely to feel less stressed and overwhelmed when you finally get to work and essentially have more free time to spend on the more important stuff.
8. Listen to podcasts
If you don't already, listening to a podcast while commuting is a great idea to take some downtime and catch up on all of that reading that you've been meaning to do but just haven't. By doing a little listening to a podcast or audiobook you'll find that your commute time will just fly by and you may even learn a few things too. Plus, you get all the benefits of learning something new and listening to something relaxing while having your hands free!