If you are one of the millions of people that have to commute to and from your job every day, it may seem like that time spent in your car is wasted. While it is for most people, it doesn’t have to be for you. Believe it or not, there are a variety of ways you can make the most out of your commute, and better yourself in the process. Taking this time for yourself can help to start your day off on a positive note and set the tone for the rest of your day.
Interested in transitioning your boring commute into some productive alone time? Read below for some tips and suggestions on how to do so.
Daily Personal Reflection
One of the most productive things you can do during your commute is to take some time to perform a daily self-reflection. While you drive or bike or ride on a train or subway, take a moment to become aware of your physical and emotional well-being. You can’t meditate while driving or biking, but you can still become self-aware.
Take a moment to feel your body. Notice if there are any places of extra tension that you can try to release. Do the same for your mental state. Notice your general mood and any negative emotions that you are holding onto. Try to release what you can to start your day on a positive note.
Learn Something New
You don’t have to be in an actual classroom to learn something new nowadays. Take the time during your commute to better yourself intellectually. Maybe there is a language that you have always wanted to learn. Apps like Duolingo or recorded programs like Rosetta Stone help you learn a language from anywhere. A little bit of practice and learning a day, during your commute, will add up faster than you think.
If a language seems a little too ambitious for you, maybe try for something a little more accessible. Podcasts are becoming more and more popular, and are made about basically any subject you can think of. Choose a podcast about a topic in which you are interested. Or, choose a podcast that is more of a talk show. Either way, you are filling the down time of your commute with new knowledge.
Lastly, if podcasts just don’t do it for you, audio books are another great option. They are incredibly easy to access, and much cheaper than their physical counterparts. If you download an audio book app on your smart phone, like Audible, for example, you can purchase audio books that interest you. You can listen to them easily during your commute. These apps have great features that allow you to pick up easily where you left off before, among other things.
Work On Personal Relationships
If you have a headset for your phone, you can safely make phone calls while you are driving. Use your commuting time to catch up with friends. Most people are too busy to fit time into their day to call their friends and family. Using the time during your commute to call the important people in your life will give you a chance to work on and maintain these relationships.
Blow Off Steam
Frustrations with work or home life may mean that, on some days, you are not in the mood to learn something new or work on your personal relationships. What you may find that you need is to blow off some steam. Whether you are on your way to work or on your way home, there is something incredibly therapeutic about rolling down the windows and turning up your music. Finding the perfect song and breathing the fresh air can make you feel like a new person.
You may already listen to music and think, “why suggest that?” Well, the real reason listening to music stops being refreshing is that it’s the go-to choice for commuting. You hear the same songs repeatedly, often in the same order during the same part of you journey. When you shake it up and do some other things during your commute, don’t throw out your tunes altogether. You’ll find that taking a few days off from your tunes will bring back some of the joy they can bring.
All of the options described above do not have to be done every day. Mix and match these ideas to find the best combination for you. Some weeks you will need to blow off steam more frequently than others. Some weeks you may be hooked on an audio book that you listen to nonstop. No matter what you choose, all of these options are beneficial, and a great way to maximize that alone time you have during your commute.