Despite coronavirus concerns still very prevalent in how we go about our daily lives, I am finding myself spending more time in the office and I’ve been able to find a happy medium from working in the office and working from home (waking up at 9AM and wearing sweatpants all day- hell yes).
Although, I often wonder how much time we spend commuting to and from work. My train ride one-way is 25-30 minutes. For Londoners, that’s roughly like if I lived in Morden and I commuted to London Bridge.
This means everyday I spend about 50 minutes commuting. That’s on the low end.
That’s more than 4 hours a week.
That’s about 200 hours a year.
That’s about 9 whole days a year just being on a train commuting. To and from work. Then, add time you spend using the train for leisure and other activities.
My point is, we spend a lot of time commuting. So how can we best use this time?
1 Work on Blogging
Hehe yes for the bloggers out there is a lot we can do. Obviously, we are not writing our blog posts on the train (although you could) but it is a great opportunity to brainstorm ideas (especially if you’re gazing outside by the window). For iPhone Users, Notes is the perfect app to jot down your thoughts and ideas. This is even better if you have a Mac because your Notes app should sync up.
I find it is perfect timing to edit photos that I may want to post on the blog or even Instagram. I try to leave editing photos of me for home alone (don’t want to come across vain- far from it). The two apps I recommend are VSCO CAM and LIGHTROOM and they are both free from the App Store.
By editing photos on the train, this saves me a lot of time and I usually come home and flesh out and write out my blog posts and thank past me for editing my photos beforehand.
I also have found social media, particularly Twitter, really useful to connect with other bloggers (retweeting, liking, commenting, commenting on other blogs) so use this time more wisely and you’ll still be doing the things you already do but more efficiently.
I also like reading blogs on the train as well as they are usually very short reads making it great commute reading material .
2 Reading and Podcasts
I have gotten into reading on the train and absolutely love it. I would also recommend taking this time to load some podcasts. There are so many podcasts out there but my favourite ones are informative.
I just found a podcast on Spotify called Food 4 Thot which is about multiracial queer writers talking about sex, relationships, race and identity which is right up my alley (literally going to listen on my next commute). Last month, I listened to 1619 which is a really informative podcast about black history and especially insightful given the recent Black Lives Matter movement.
In the business sphere, What the Flux is a good podcast that is relevant for Australians as they are extremely succinct (5 minutes long) and they talk about what is happening in the business world particularly with big companies such as Google and Facebook.
Of course, there are some fun, light humoured podcasts that are great entertainment. Maybe your favourite Youtuber has a podcast. One of my favourite Youtubers, Cody Ko, has a podcast called The Tiny Meat Gang Podcast.
3 Learn a New Skill
There are also so many online courses and seminars available and many are free. Find ones that interest you and you’ll realise how fun and rewarding knowledge is. Entrepreneurship is really big these days.
For Australians, TAFE is offering free courses during the pandemic so I would encourage you to take the opportunity to learn. I’m currently doing one on Social Media Marketing for Small Businesses and it’s been really interesting so far.
Maybe you’ve always wanted to learn a new language. There are many apps that do this including DUOLINGO. I’ve always wanted to so I defs will give it a go. I would love to try Spanish or Italian maybe even German or Swedish (think me learning French terribly in high school is a lost course).
4 Plan Your Day (Week) Ahead + Goal Setting
Come into work with a fresh mindset. Commuting is a great way to organise your thoughts. Prioritise on 2-3 tasks you want to get done today. I often do this and envisage what needs to get done and how it needs to get done and it helps a lot.
This doesn’t just apply to today but you can also apply this to your week as well or even your month or year. Think about the bigger picture and what you want to achieve. Prioritise on tasks that will help you achieve your goals.
5 Do Nothing – De-Stress, Relax, Self-Reflect
I find this to be an enriching experience and it makes me self-reflect and appreciate my day.
What went well today?
What didn’t go well today?
How will I make tomorrow better?
This allows me to self-reflect and improve both my personal and professional attributes. Not everything has to be super productive. This is my way of de-stressing. Methods to Destress Include:
- listen to music (read my June music favourite post to get inspired or listen to new music and artists)
- watch a Youtube video or a Netflix show
- SLEEP. We all have busy days or even just feel tired. You earned this rest.
My train commute is time to myself for the next 25-30 minutes.
For many people, including myself, commuting is really the only time of the day I am truly alone.
This is my quiet zone. My chill space.
Learn to take time out for yourself and never burn yourself out.
I hope you enjoyed reading this post and perhaps got inspired to change the way you commute, catch public transport or even think. I am always thinking about how I can improve my efficiency in any way I can but it is important to step back and just relax and enjoy the time we have to ourselves.
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