6 Ways to Improve Your Commute to Work10th September 2015 | George Atkins
The commute to work is perhaps the most arduous part of each working person’s day. Getting up ludicrously early, sitting on a train, bus or in a car, wishing that teleportation was a viable, real-life technology. Surely then, the best option for the travelling worker is to make commuting as stress-free, as productive, maybe even as enjoyable as possible; Here are 6 easy ways to relieve the crushing mundanity of commuter life!
Change Your Travel Route
If you are bored with the same commute to work every day, why not mix it up and try a different route? Sure, you might have to leave a little earlier to negotiate longer routes, but it’s a small price to pay considering how much less bored and stressed you will be as a result; It may even be less busy than your usual gridlocked motorway commute. Obviously this is only an option for those of you driving or cycling to work considering that, as far as I’m aware, they don’t just let anyone drive a train! City commuters may also like to switch to walking or cycling; these methods have the added bonus of keeping you fit and healthy, as well as enabling you to appreciate your surroundings in a way that other modes of transport simply don’t.
Listen To Music/ Audio books/ Podcasts (Definite Must!)
If you’re not using an MP3 player on your way into work then you’re definitely missing out! Your commute to work can be made enjoyable through listening to music, podcasts and audio books that you wouldn’t normally have time to listen to, helping to stimulate your mind before even arriving at the office. As for stereos, most modern cars now boast some degree of MP3 compatibility, so you need not be confined to headphones all the time. This is a great way of making a normally painstaking commute a breeze, helping to keep you calm and reduce your stress levels. Speaking of which…
Learn a New Language
An arguably even better way of spending your daily commute is by learning a new language; thanks to an assortment of free podcasts, you can learn at least basic language phrases during your commute to work and back. You might attract some concerned looks from fellow commuters if you start repeating Spanish noun phrases on the tube, for example, but it still stands up as a great way of utilising otherwise wasted time more effectively. Experts recommend a combination of different delivery methods to maximise efficient learning; using an audio book alongside a phone app, for instance, would be twice as effective and (if you have a smart phone) is easily doable during your daily commute.
Wake Up Earlier
If you’re definitely not a ‘morning person’ or sometimes struggle to get to the office with enough time to spare, this may be an option for you. Nobody enjoys getting out of bed earlier, but it will almost certainly make commuting to work easier (if you set off before rush hour), allowing you to get to the office and work distraction-free. Also, if early arrival means leaving earlier at your company, then you might be able to miss out on that appalling rush hour backlog traffic despised by most commuters! If not then your company is still sure to take notice of how keen you are, which can never be considered a bad thing.
Create a to-do-list
One way of minimising stress when you get to the office is to plan out and streamline the day’s tasks. Creating a to-do-list whilst commuting to work might not be everyone’s idea of fun, but it’s certainly an effective way of preventing raised stress levels and panicking later in the work day. It makes sense if you think about it; commuting time should be utilised as effectively as possible and forward planning your daily itinerary is an excellent way of making your day go smoothly. If you’re driving or cycling, then evidently this might not be the best idea for you; instead try developing a mental checklist or download an app which you can use vocally instead, both of which will enable you to plan ahead without having to take your hands off the wheel/ handlebars.
Play Games to Exercise Your Mind
Playing ‘brain training’ games or doing newspaper puzzles like Sudoku stimulate you mentally, preparing you for a day of work in the process. Games like these have been known to prevent age-based memory loss and should maintain your brain’s short and long term memory, making this an excellent option for commuters with smart phones, tablet devices or just with newspapers/ magazines. However, you should stay clear of brightly coloured/ garish game graphics as these tend to distract users from the actual problem-solving elements. There are, for example, a number of free Sudoku apps to download via Apple’s App Store and Google Play, not forgetting newspaper apps like the one offered by The Guardian which include several traditional paper-based brain teasers; try one of them out today!