Written by IALH Editor
Image via Pinterest
So many of us have to do it, even with working from home becoming more prevalent – the commute is a daily part of many people’s lives. But what do you do with your time? I’ve always gone through phases, sometimes making the most of my 50 minute train journey with a book or reading the news, catching up on work (which I don’t recommend if you can help it!) or planning for the next few days / weeks ahead. While at other points I’ll while away the time having a snooze, scrolling on social media or just straight up people-watching wondering where the woman opposite got her cute shoes from.
There’s no right or wrong way to spend your journey to and from work, if your work days are stressful you might want to do more during the morning commute rather than the one on the way home or if you’re not a morning person you might like to switch that the other way around!
However, whether you’ve got 20 minutes or 2 hours here are some tips to get the most out of your time.
Learn a new skill
You don’t need to set aside a completely free day to take up something you’ve never learnt before. With the aid of technology and probably some Youtube you might be able to do it on your commute. Whether it’s a new language, an online course or even a recipe you’ve never made before – try filling your time with something new. The time won’t feel as ‘dead’ and you’ll be surprised at how quickly you bank new abilities.
Podcast or audio books
Podcasts and audio books are great if you can’t hold a physical book on your commute – i.e. if you drive to and from work, or you don’t want to carry a book in your bag all the time. There are SO many to choose from and you can pre-download them so if you don’t have signal no matter!
Now the topic is entirely up to you, but you could alternate between funny and factual podcasts or fiction and self-betterment books to keep things fresh and feel like you’re always moving forward.
Work on you!
Now I know I said earlier to avoid work if you can. BUT, working on yourself isn’t the same as replying to Sarah from HR! You could use the time to update your LinkedIn, tidy up your personal portfolio (if you have one), reach out to useful contacts or think about your next networking event. All of these things help you in your career and progression journey, whatever that may look like.
The other thing you can do is write a to-do list. This could be a mix of work and home life, depending on what your life is like. From the biggest things like upcoming meetings to the smallest, like that pile of laundry that needs doing when you get home. Note it all down and try to prioritise it to make everything feel that bit more manageable. You can get pretty great apps on your phone that segment all your tasks (like TickTick) or go old school like me and get a diary!
The other thing you can do linked to this is actually tick some of these tasks off. If you need to book some tickets, or a flight, buy your Mum a birthday gift or pay a bill – why not do it during this time. So it’s one less thing to think about when you get home.
Invest in commuter-friendly gadgets
You don’t really need to spend money to commute well (we know travel fares are crazy expensive already!), but if you did want to upgrade to give yourself that bit more comfort then here are some ideas to get you started…
Beats x Kim K Dune Beats Fit Pro wireless earbuds
Beats Studio Buds
True Wireless Noise Cancelling Earphones
11th Generation eReader
20K 3-Port Portable Power Bank