. HOW TO MAXIMISE YOUR COMMUTE .
Juggling work and life is often quite difficult, and it can be even harder to give yourself some down time in the process. I’ve written a whole post with tips on achieving work life balance, but today I thought i’d share a few more tips based on maximising the time you do have even further. No additional time needed, this is simply tips and advice for maximising your time further, and in particular making the most of your commute.
If like me, despite even living in London, your commute can take up to an hour each way, then it’s really about time we take back that time and start using it to our benefit, it’s not always possible if you’re trapped inside a crammed tube, or driving to work etc, but I have 5 ideas which should work for most situations, to really help you maximise that commute and get your wellbeing in a bit better check.
. MEDITATE .
First of all, with a seriously busy workload and jam packed diary, stress levels can often get high and finding time to unwind and relax can always be a little bit tricky. One way to better use your commute to help unwind and of course set your day off to a good start is to use the journey for a little bit of ‘me time’. Meditation or simply listening to music or even watching your favourite series, is a really great way of getting some down time and helping your brain unwind a little. Last year I packed my Ipad full of Breaking Bad series and used my hour commute to and from work to chill out and watch the episode. I found concentrating (well escaping) to something totally different kept my mind relaxed and also just made my commute a little more interesting.
It’s definitely not the same as meditation, but even using your commute to learn a language or listen to your favourite pod casts is also a great way to get your mind focussed on something other than work & better use your time.
. READ BOOKS OR NEWS .
Another one of my favourite things to do on my commute, and another great way to ‘escape’ from the day to day hustle and bustle is to wile away your time in a good book. I always find reading a great way to unwind and escape from my stresses. It’s something I do an awful lot of whilst on holiday but can forget to dedicate time to when I’m back in my day to day routine! But for me reading is a really easy way to switch off and so using my commute to catch up on a good book is always a good way of making the most out of my journey and quite quickly relax.
Beyond a good book, even using my commute to catch up on the news or my favourite magazines makes the 2 hours everyday far more enjoyable.
. DO YOUR EMAILS .
It’s not necessarily the most relaxing use of your commute, however one other good way to maximise the time spent travling to and from work is to get on with some work to ease the rest of your day. I always try and spend 30 minutes or so in the morning to catch up on my emails and get back on any quick questions or even use the time to proof read work or review presentations etc. It’s not a great way to unwind or relax, but getting ahead (particularly in the morning) can sometimes make for a much less manic and stressful day in the office.
. DO EXERCISE .
Now this isn’t something I’ve ever managed to do, although I really wish I could make it work for me, but rather than taking the tube or driving why not use your commute to feed some exercise into your day by walking, running or cycling. It can often be difficult to find time to fit in exercise or a gym class, so using your commute to work out is a great way to boost your health, start your day off with a real energy boost and of course help keep you fit. There’s also nothing like exercise to help you clear your mind and unwind. Whether it’s a 10 minute walk or a one hour cycle, as summer hits this is definitely something to consider as a way of really making the most out of your commute.
. BLOG .
Now this is my favourite use of my commute. To blog, I frequently spend my commute drafting the days blog post in my notes for it to be set live when I get to work, or even to plan future posts or draft up coming features. I find my two hours on the tube a day the best time I get to sit and do some brainstorming. It’s uninterupted down time and I find it really useful to get some blog work done during this time. Even responding to emails, catching up on my social channels and reading my favourite blogs. Not only does it help me and my time management overall, I actually love blogging so it helps me unwind and clears my head too.
. CATCH UP WITH FAMILY & FRIENDS .
My final tip for maximising your commute is to use your journey to catch up with friends or family. I often speak to my mum on my journey to work, either by phone or text. I Always find my commute a good opportunity to catch up on group messages with my friends and even just a good old phone call … It’s an hour of your time, so why not use it to check in with loved ones.
So there you have it, 5 very simple ways to maximise your commute further. Some may only be suitable if you catch a train or bus to work, others can still be done if you drive or walk. We spend such a large amount of our day travelling to and from the office so why not maximise this time and gain yourself two hours back.
I always try and maximise my time travelling by doing some of these things, I switch them up throughout the week dependent on my mood or what I need to do, but reading, emails and blogging are definitely my most ‘used’ commute activities.
I’d love to hear your tips or advice on maximising your commute and how you make the most out of your time spent travelling?