Commuting. It’s not something you’d hear many people saying that they enjoy. After all, it’s often spent crammed onto public transport, or stuck in traffic jams, wasting time that could be better used either working, or enjoying your downtime. It’s not hard to understand why it can be one of the least popular parts of our working lives.
But there are ways to make those journeys that bit brighter. Whether you have an hour on a train or a 15-minute walk to work, there’s plenty of ways you can be making the most out of your commute.
1. Write a to-do list for your day
Your journey into work can be a great opportunity to think about your top priorities for the day. With no colleagues around to distract you or ask you questions, it is easier to give yourself that time to focus on the important stuff. There’s some great apps around as well which can help you solidify your list, such as Evernote or Wunderlist.
2. Clear your inbox
Having a quick scan of your emails before you get into the office is a can help you to prepare yourself for the day ahead. You can respond to any easy-to-solve queries, as well as make sure you’re aware of any big tasks you’ll need to deal with when you get to your desk.
3. Prepare for that big meeting
Chairing a meeting with senior members of your team? Or maybe you have an important presentation that day. Take some time to go through what you want to say. If you’re alone in the car, you might want to practice your speech out loud. Feel free to do this if you’re on public transport too, but if you’d rather be more subtle about it, maybe just go through it in your head.
4. Listen to a podcast
If you’d rather not get stuck into work before you get there, or your commute means you can’t, why not give your brain a break before it gets to the office and listen to a podcast. There’s so many interesting and informative series available now, chances are there’ll be something that takes your fancy. Whether it’s something funny to lighten up your morning, or something more serious, keeping you up to date with world affairs, there’s something for everyone. Here’s a list of some of the best podcasts around right now.
5. Clear your mind
Mindfulness continues to be a popular way to help combat stress. And while a busy commute can feel like one of the least calm places around, practicing mindfulness can change that. Taking even just a few minutes to be mindful on your commute can help you to focus and relax, prepared for the day ahead or ready to enjoy your evening at home. If you’re not sure how to get started, apps like Headspace can set you off with the basics, offering a free 10-day beginner’s course.
6. Read an actual book.
Yep, those paperback, hardback, stacks of paper with words printed on them still exist. With us all leading such busy lives, sometimes it’s easy to feel like we don’t have time to read anymore, but your commute could be the perfect opportunity. If you’re not a fan of physical books anymore, swap it for an ebook or a news app. Similarly, if you drive into work, you could try downloading an audiobook to give you something interesting to listen to.
7. Learn something new
Learning a new skill can take serious commitment. And what better way to commit than using the constant free time you have available to you daily on your commute. Always fancied learning how to Deutsch sprechen? Try a language app. Or maybe you fancy something more hands on. You could try teaching yourself to knit or crochet.
8. Increase your physical activity levels.
Now, we’re not saying you have to jog, cycle or even skip to work every day if you don’t want to (although they are definitely great ways to boost your activity levels), but even working some extra walking into your commute can make a huge difference. Try getting off the bus a few stops earlier or park your car that bit further away from work - it might even end up costing you less. But if you did want to try a more energetic commute, lots of workplaces, like our Trafford House building, offer facilities to get yourself ready for the day even after you’ve worked up that sweat.
All of our buildings have excellent transport links to make your commute that bit easier, but whether you drive, cycle, run, train or bus to work, there’s plenty of ways to make the most of your travel time. Let us know if you try any of these ideas out and whether they worked for you.