Even if you love your job, the time you spend getting to and from it can feel like a total waste – especially when your commute is longer than you’d like it to be.
For many people, a lengthy commute is unavoidable. Whether you’re driving, riding the subway, biking, walking, or using some combined method of transport to get from point A to point B, the time you spend in transit can seem like a loss.
But while your commute to work is time you have to spend traveling, don’t have to spend that time being miserable.
We’ve put together a list of 10 easy ways to make the most of your commute time so you can feel good instead of grumpy while you’re in transit to and from the office!
10 Ways to Make the Most of Commute Time
Finding constructive ways to use the time you spend commuting can completely change your perspective. Here are a few easy ways you can transform your commute into less of a hassle and more of a treat
1. Sample New Music
Did your favorite artist just put out a brand new album? Save it for a first listen on your commute! You’ll have something new and exciting to look forward to, plus the new tunes will keep you occupied as you travel.
Tired of listening to the same old thing? Ask your friends to recommend new artists to check out. Keep a running list of music recommendations so you can refer back to it anytime your regular soundtrack starts to feel stale.
2. Listen to a Podcast
Podcasts are a great way to learn while you’re on the go. You can find podcasts featuring just about anything these days, from comedy shows and celebrity interviews to self-improvement tips and motivational speeches.
Find a podcast series you enjoy and subscribe, or browse the selection of available podcasts and download a bunch of episodes you’d like to sample. You’ll have something educational and entertaining right at your fingertips each time you hop in the car or step onto the subway.
3. Tune Into a Radio Show
Since people are typically commuting at the same times every day, radio shows can be a great way to stay entertained. Scroll through the stations – and don’t forget to check the AM stations – until you find something that sounds interesting. Find a show you like and you can tune in every morning!
Talk radio, sports, music, political commentary, news, comedy – whatever your interests, there’s probably a radio show out there that you’d like. Need to broaden your radio horizons? Check out satellite radio. It has hundreds of channels spanning lots of musical genres and topics.
4. Treat Yourself
Once in a while, change up your routine and treat yourself to a coffee, bagel or breakfast smoothie on your way into the office. Leave a few minutes early and stop into that new cafe you’ve been hearing about. Make time for a quick trip through the drive thru at your favorite local coffee place.
The change in your regular plan will feel refreshing, plus you’ll start the day out on the right foot with a full stomach and a little caffeine in your system.
5. Schedule a Catch-Up Call
If you’ve been meaning to catch up with a friend for months, stop putting it off! Coordinate a catch-up call during your commute. With bluetooth technology, you can chat while keeping your eyes on the road and hands on the wheel.
Schedule the call ahead of time so you’re sure it’s a good time for both of you – and so you can have your catch up session to look forward to. Want to stay in touch? Plan to chat once a week or once a month!
6. Read a Book
This seems like an obvious (and somewhat old-school) option for jazzing up your commute, but it’s worth mentioning! Riding the subway? Don’t waste your commute scrolling through social media on your phone. Instead, grab a good book and spend your time perusing the pages!
You’d be surprised how rewarding it is to turn physical pages and learn something in the time normally spent letting your mind wander.
7. Listen to an Audiobook
Need to keep your eyes on the road? Audiobooks are a great way to consume media while you’re on the go! Many local libraries have audiobooks available for borrowing, and apps like Libby and Overdrive put books right at your fingertips for no charge.
Don’t want the pressure of having to finish an audiobook before it’s due back to the library? Try Audible, a monthly audiobook subscription service.
Your hectic schedule probably doesn’t leave you much time to quiet your mind. So why not constructively repurpose the time you’re likely spending getting more stressed on your commute by using that time to meditate instead?
There are a handful of meditation apps out there that will help to guide you as you meditate and work towards mindfulness. All you have to do is follow along. Working through breathing exercises, mantras and visualizations – instead of getting flustered in traffic – can be a great way to start your day or end your day on the right foot.
9. Organize Your To-Dos
When used strategically, your commute time can actually help you to be more productive throughout the other parts of your day. Spend your time on the train or subway making a to do list and prioritizing the items you need to tackle throughout the day. You’ll take some clutter out of your brain and be ready to hit the ground running when you arrive at the office.
Driving, so don’t have your hands free? Voice commands can help you assemble your to dos! There are lots of apps out there that can collect your voice memos and help you keep your thoughts and priorities organized, even when you don’t have your hands free to write them down.
Hate traveling alone? Try carpooling! Joining a carpool has a number of great benefits. You’ll have company along your commute, it’s good for the environment, and you get a break from driving on the days when you get to be the passenger.
While it may take some effort to coordinate a schedule with your carpool mates, it’s a terrific option if you’re looking to change up your travel plans to and from work.
Add a Little TLC into Your Travel Time
Finding ways to enjoy the time you spend commuting can make your daily travels to and from the office seem less daunting and more valuable. You might even find yourself looking forward to your time en route!
Looking for other ways to improve your life as a nine-to-fiver? Be sure to check out the following articles!
Ten Tips to Make Business Travel Easier – Doing more travel than just commuting for work? If you have a big business trip on the horizon, be sure to check out these helpful hints.
Tips to Reduce Eye Strain at the Office – Eyes feeling a bit fried? Check out these four ways you can protect your eyes when you’re at the computer all day.
8 Ways to Make Your Workspace Healthier – Want to feel better while you work? We’ve put together a list of ways to improve your work area in a health-conscious way.
Looking for office space near Boston with an easy commute? The Lakeside Park is a 220,000 square foot office park in Wakefield MA, a quick, stress-free commute from dozens of communities in the greater Boston area. Learn more about commute times from surrounding locations here.