Your daily commute doesn’t have to be stressful and boring, it can be productive and enjoyable. Over the years I’ve spent a lot of time on trains, especially while I was working in Manchester. I miss having that extra time to myself, it gave me a chance to get an early start on the day and I was even getting through a couple of books each week. So, although I’m not jumping on and off trains on a daily basis now, I thought I’d share my top tips for making the most of your commute.
Read – Download a couple of books or pop a real book in your bag. Over the last couple of months I’ve got into reading books via my iPad. It means I have one less thing to carry and I can download whatever I fancy reading. At the moment I’m making my way through The Lean Startup.
Audiobooks and podcasts – If you can’t focus on a book then try podcasts and audiobooks. Audiobooks are an excellent way of keeping up with the books you want to read when you’re busy. I’ve been a huge fan of podcasts for a good few years, they can be just as inspiring, motivational or interesting as a book. Some of my favourites are This American Life, Stuff You Should Know and Startup Camp.
Keep in touch – Although we spend so much time glued to our phones it’s easy to forget to check in with people. Take some time to drop a message to your family and friends. Ask how they’re doing or just leave a happy and positive message for them, sometimes it’s nice to know that someone’s thinking of you.
Get started on work – If you’ve got a busy day ahead, then responding to emails, or at least making your way through the junk is a good way of preparing yourself for the day. I don’t know about you, but I find that there’s something quite satisfying about getting work out of the way before everyone else reaches their desk.
To do list – Plan out your tasks for the day and be ready to tackle them when you reach the office. I’ve been using an app called Trello to manage all the projects I’m working on. It has improved my time management and made me much more productive.
Work on your hobby – When I was working in Manchester, I’d spend the train journey writing out blog posts and ideas in advance. It was a good 2 hours each day, a little more if there were delays, that I could dedicate to my blog.
Finally, I’d like to point that it’s fine to do nothing, rest your eyes or listen to some music. I often find that it’s during this time that my brain is the most active and I get bursts of inspiration and ideas.
If you commute to work, what is your favourite way to spend the time?