How to get the most out of your commute

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Don't feel like your commute is wasted time, turn it into time well spent...


© Flickr/TheJRB

The average daily commute is now nearly five minutes longer than it was a decade ago, with women between 25-35 spending an average of 52 minutes each day either to or from work.

How do you spend your commute? Playing Candy Crush? Staring out of the window? Trying not to fall asleep on some banker's expensive Paul Smith suited shoulder?

While there are all kinds of ways to distract or entertain yourself during your journey, making the time productive is a bit more of a challenge. So how can you turn it to your advantage...


1. Tune in

If you haven't been able to get a seat and don't even have enough room to get a book out of your bag, your iPod can become your lifesaver. But instead of listening to Katy Perry on repeat, expand your mind with an audio book. Sites including Audible, have a range of fiction and biographies to choose from. Or try a BBC podcast and learn something new about the world.

2. Learn a Language

If you have 30-60 spent on a commute each day, this could be for you. There are plenty of services on the web that allow you to download language courses and exercises. All you need is your iPod (again, lifesaver) and a notebook to jot down new vocab and you're on your way.

3. Make plans

Be honest - how much of your morning do you spend panicking about the amount of work you have to do and the meetings you have to prepare for? Stop arriving at work frazzled and disorganised by planning out your work days during your commute. 

4. Say hello

Nobody likes to be 'that person' but making a phone call on your commute doesn't have to turn you into a hate figure. If you haven't spoken to your mum in a week, or you're tired of only communicating with your friend over text, pick up the phone and have a five minute chinwag. Just keep the noise down please.

5. Do your life admin

Thank goodness for smartphones. You no longer need to be at your desk to get things done, which is great for all those niggly little tasks you keep putting off. Use the commute to pay your bills, set up direct debits, make that dentist appointment and email your landlord. A word of warning though: be aware of any sensitive information you're displaying on your phone when you're surrounded by strangers.

6. Catch up on sleep

So you've managed to get a seat? Hooray! Set yourself an alarm that will go off five minutes before your destination and try to get some shuteye. Even 10 minutes with your eyes closed can help you feel more refreshed. Make sure you have all your belonging on your lap or close to you to avoid them getting pinched, and try not to snore too loudly.



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