Making the most of your commute

Sam Turner 09.11.2018

Working in a city centre, the vast majority of us start and end our days with what can sometimes be the most strenuous part, the dreaded commute.

Meaningfully using your daily travel time

Whether this is a tube journey on the central line, where the feeling is more like that of being inside a sardine tin, a long overground journey to or from the more rural parts of the surrounding areas, or a short bus journey to your humble abode, the commute to and from our places of work is valuable time in each of our days which can easily be lost.

The morning commute can be daunting for the majority of us. You have left the comfort of bed, run about the house to ensure that you have everything, before stepping out into the wider world and proceeding to your workplace destination. The journey taken is usually very similar to the day before, and the day before that, and what it will be tomorrow. It is familiar, nothing unexpected usually occurs, and you find yourself standing on the train almost in a trance, waiting for the announcement that you are at your stop before quickly shaking your head to snap out of it, gather your belongings quickly before trying to locate the shortest way through the maze of people and dashing off of the train whilst the beeping doors are closing.

But instead of giving Karen a dirty look as she rushes past you to grab the recently vacated seat on the District Line, why not spend this valuable time wisely, preparing for what is to come throughout the day/week, and in turn being more productive during the day. Here are several ways you can alter your dismal daily commute to increase your mood and productivity.

Prepare for the day ahead

We are all commuting for the same reason; to get into work and complete the tasks which lay ahead. Everyone is aware they are doing this, but instead of trying to replicate the feeling of being asleep on your way in, why not begin to prepare for what is to come. Think about the duties which need to be completed early and establish a plan on the best course of action. As we all know, this plan may have to be thrown out of the window as soon as you sit down at your desk (things always change!), but you will be ready to react.

There is usually a 30 minute period when you arrive where the average person is still trying to get ready for the day ahead, meaning that by the time they are ready to work, things have built up in the background and essentially the day has begun moving backward, which can be hard to overcome. By preparing yourself for the day ahead, you are ready to react to whatever the day could throw at you! Preparing for the day ahead also entails knowing what you want to achieve in the day, giving you the satisfaction of completing certain tasks at the end of the day, keeping motivation and morale high.

Develop yourself

Whether you have a long or short commute, it is definitely valuable time which can be used for various reasons. If you are someone who doesn’t feel that preparation for work is the best use of your time, why not use this time to do something you would usually fail to make time for. Many people have an ambition to learn a new language for example, but with the stresses of working life followed by the chores of home life they never really get the chance. By using this commuting time, you will find your personal development in areas which you usually struggle to enhance, flourish.

Relax

The stresses of working life can be difficult. Everybody knows this fact. But instead of getting worked up on your way into the office and then stressing about what has happened all day on your way home, why not use the time to detach yourself from the stresses of work, and relax. Everybody reacts better to things when relaxed rather than up tight. Getting into the office feeling fresh can help your morning start right, which will stand you in good stead for the rest of the day. Having that time to relax on your commute back home after a long stressful day can ensure that you are in a good state of mind to spend your evening happily with family, which can sometimes be put under stress due to the pent up frustration carried over from the workplace. You can either read a book, listen to music, or do anything that can alleviate pressure and help you relax.

Sam Turner's picture
Manager | Risk Management
sturner@morganmckinley.co.uk