It can be frustrating when you have to spend an hour or more commuting every day. However, there are some ways to make that more time productive.
It is said that we waste an average of 246 hours sitting in traffic a year while commuting to and from work. When we lead such busy lives, the thoughts of sitting on a bus or train doing nothing for 1-2 hours a day can be frustrating, to say the least.
For the moment, we cannot control bus times, train schedules or traffic. However, we can control how we spend that time and we can make the simple choice to spend it productively.
Here are five simple ways to put your commute time to good
We are constantly hearing about the wonders that meditation can work on our mind, body and soul. However, when we are advised to begin meditating, the average response is usually “I don’t have the time!” Well, what about the hour or so you spend commuting every day? While a bustling bus or train isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when you picture a peaceful meditation, it can be done. Listen to a guided meditation on your way to work in the mornings and you will arrive calm and ready to take on the day.
Listen to a podcast
Podcasts are gaining more and more popularity these days. Everywhere you look, there is another new podcast about some topic or another. And that’s a really great thing – there is literally a podcast to suit almost any topic of interest.
Looking to think more positively? There’s a podcast for that. Want to listen to authors read their short stories aloud? There’s a podcast for that. Have a yearning to solve true-crime mysteries? You guessed it, there are about a million podcasts for that.
It is often said that there are not enough hours in the day when you’re working and this is especially true if you have children at home. Keeping on top of endless to-do lists, after school activities and work projects can be overwhelming.
Enter: the journal. Journaling is a great way to keep track of your day while also having the space to write down your thoughts and feelings. Journaling while on the bus or train is productive, calming and will give you a break from your phone for a little while.
Been meaning to read that book that all the mums at the school gate are talking about? Have your eye on a gripping thriller at the top of the best sellers list? You may feel like you haven’t got the time to curl up with a good book throughout the day, but your commute is the perfect time for this.
Reading on your way to or from work will allow you get a couple of hours of “me time” before you head home to a hectic household. Plus, losing yourself in a great story will keep your mind off anything that might be causing you feelings of anxiety or stress (like the traffic you may be stuck in).
As I’ve mentioned, it can be incredibly frustrating to sit in traffic doing nothing when you may have a million things going on in your personal or work life. While going throughout your day, it is completely normal to push problems to the back of your mind in order to focus on the task at hand.
However, this can lead to a build-up of stress when you get to the end of the day and realize that all those issues are still on your mind and still unsolved. During your commute, set aside a bit of time to work out some solutions to these problems.
Draw diagrams and brainstorms, read articles for some expert advice and really put some thought into what’s going in your life. When you feel like you have a bit more control over your problems, you will be able to peacefully draw your attention to the more important things in life.
To be honest, sitting in traffic in the mornings and evenings is absolutely no fun. However, by reframing your mindset to view your commute as some extra time in the day to focus on improving yourself and growing your interests, it could turn into your favourite part of the week.