According to a recent survey we undertook, over 70% of Irish workers spend more than 30 minutes commuting daily while a report suggests that 3.7 million English workers spend two hours a day travelling to and from work.
Whether you travel by train, dart or bus here are 5 ways to make your 30 + minutes more productive…
1. Organise your day
Set your goals for the day and make a list of tasks you need to get done once you arrive in the office. For me, I like to get the hard stuff out of the way first – while others enjoy settling into the day with their most inspiring work tasks. Figure out which works best for you and stick to it.
2. Avoid Social Media
It’s become a natural default for many, myself included, to start the day scrolling through Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and/or Snapchat but it’s been proven this isn’t the best idea. Firstly, it’s easy to fall into a social media black hole and realise you’ve wasted most of your commute looking at the feed of someone you barley know. More importantly checking your phone first thing can frame your day in a negative way, for example if you log on and the first thing you see is something fun you missed out on it’ll be it may influence your mood.
We all know exercise is good for us but it can be hard to fit it into the work week. If possible try and bike (check if your workplace offers a Bike to Work scheme), walk or run to work at least a few days a week. If your commute is too long for this then try getting off your bus or train a stop early and walking from there. A small amount of exercise will decrease stress levels, increase happiness and your work might even improve too.
If your commute is eating into your off-time, then try and make the most of your time in transit. Download a podcast, watch the Netflix series you’ve been meaning to try, sleep, read a book, listen to music or practice some mindfulness if that’s more your style.
To properly enjoy this time preparation is key – the evening before, or over the previous weekend, download anything you’ll need so you’re not relying on potentially dodgy public transport Wi-Fi. Nothing ruins some early morning relaxation more than a broken internet connection mid new episode.
5. Get some work done
If you’re particularly busy in work and it’s causing you stress, use your commute to focus on work you don’t have time to do otherwise. For example, proof reading reports, replying to emails, giving feedback to colleagues, researching, planning creative projects, recording expenses etc.
By doing this early in the morning you’ll find you get your work done quicker, rather than trying to cram it in to the last few minutes of your day.
Whether getting a bit of early morning work done or podcasts are your thing, commuting doesn’t have to be a waste of time. If your commute is getting the better of you talk to your employer about the option of remote work, or flexible working options – you never know there might be an opportunity there.