Our morning commutes are often the most stressful and useless parts of our days. Whether we’re driving and consistently getting stuck in hours of traffic, or taking public transportation with uncomfortable seats and a lot of ambient B.O., the experience is not a nice one.
Plus, to add insult to injury, it takes up so much time, time we’d so much rather spend doing something productive, entertaining, or just straight-up sleeping. Many of us do doze off on our morning commutes (hopefully those of you who are on trains and buses) but there are a lot of ways to make that commute more fun and less stressful.
If you drive:
Use that time to listen to new music, and make it a point to really enjoy it. Hours of time spent in bumper-to-bumper traffic can be made so much more fun with a new track. Scour Spotify and load up your phone memory with albums you want to listen to, and click Shuffle. Music instantly puts you in a better mood.
Yes, the good, ol’-fashioned book. And no, not the paper or electronic kind, either. Visit your local bookstore to get audio books, or better yet, get an account with an audiobook app. It’s so much easier to read a book with your ears, especially if you’re the type who doesn’t have time to sit down with the “real” thing. This way, you’ll be caught up with the literary world and indulge your need for stories.
ONLY if you’re one hundred percent not moving when you’re in traffic, take a couple minutes to scan your email or make a list of items you absolutely have to get done for the day. It gets you in the mindset of work and helps shave off those first few minutes in-office when you’re still settling in. Productivity is key.
If you’re a train/bus passenger
All of the above
Remember those crazy print books you see old people carrying around sometimes? Totally get yourself one of those, because you now have all the time in the world to read. Same goes for those Spotify playlists, and chances are you’re connected to your work email via a tablet or smartphone, so all of the above apply, especially when some other driver has the reins. But also do these things:
If you think about it differently, a work commute is free time when you’re not expected to work yet, but you’re awake and everything. Sounds good, right? Take the time to plan, whether it’s planning your grocery list, nailing down a schedule for fun activities during the week and for the weekend, and making sure you’re keeping in touch with friends and family. Optimize that time to work for you by making sure to schedule in some…scheduling.
Indulge a passion
Maybe you’re not working your dream job; maybe you just have a 9-5 or maybe you’re looking to change careers. Take this time to indulge any creative passions you may have, whether it’s photography (people-watching and stealth photography is an option), screenwriting, or something entirely inconspicuous. We’ll let you be the judge of that.
Mornings are stressful, and some of us don’t even have the time to squeeze in a cup of coffee, especially if we’ve overslept. Grab coffee and a breakfast wrap for the train and you’ll have time for an actual meal, rather than a power bar swallowed on the train platform.
Catch up with friends and family
If you have a long commute, chances are other people do too. Spend that time sending absurdities to each other via text and Snapchat, and maybe even send some emails to Mom and Dad, making sure to catch them up on the big things.