According to TUC research, there are more than 3 million people in the UK travelling for more than 2 hours a day to get to work.
If you start and finish your day with a long commute, it can be easy to feel like you’re wasting a good portion of your day. While reading is a brilliant diversion, sometimes it’s good to mix things up a bit. Here are our top picks….
1. Take A Longer Route
Sounds like a joke- it’s not! If your usual commute involves using several modes of transport it can be disruptive and difficult to immerse yourself in one activity. It might get you there faster but actually waste more of your precious time. Consider taking a slightly longer route with fewer changes to allow you to focus on an activity.
2. Educate Yourself
Use the time to swot up. Podcasts are amazing for this. From catching up on the best of the BBC to tales from further afield. PW’s favourites include Start-Up, This American Life, No Such Thing as a Fish, Friday Night Comedy from Radio 4 and The Broad Experience.
Use apps like Pocket to save interesting articles through the day and catch up with your reading on the move.
3. Get Moving
Get off a couple of stops early and walk the last 30 minutes of your commute, you can carry on listening to your podcasts or music and reap the benefits of regular exercise. In recent studies, walking has been shown to enhance your mood, reduce your risk of chronic illnesses and reduce stress.
4. Listen To Music- Properly.
Time spent commuting is great for listening to music but it’s easy to get stuck in a rut listening to the same playlists or albums. It’s equally easy to let the music fade into the background while you concentrate on something else.
Instead, make music the focus. I noticed a couple of years ago that I was starting to get bored of my regular music choices so decided to broaden my horizons by choosing a new genre or composer to listen to each month. Commit to listening with your full attention a couple of times a week. I started with Romantic Piano composers as they offered an easy route into classical music. download a ‘greatest hits’ playlist as a starting point and worked outwards from there investigating the pieces and composers you like best.
The benefits? Music can induce a meditative state and reduce stress
5. Learn About Where You Are
Take a bus, sit on the upper deck and get googling. Buses are an amazing way to explore a city. You get a totally different view from walking along the street and searching for street names, the origins of boroughs and interesting buildings on your phone yields all sorts of interesting information. It also helps you to orientate yourself and get to know the area- another win!
Jess Wright is a Career Coach, working in London and Manchester.