Bored on your commute? Here’s a great list of things to do while commuting on public transport. I’ve been catching buses and trains as a commuter for as long as I’ve been working, and while I know it can be a luxury to have your own transportation, and of course the trip sometimes takes longer when you travel on public transport, the fact is that it’s easy to get a LOT done when you are not having to worry about driving and traffic conditions. It’s a far less stressful way to travel, and not to mention that it is SO much cheaper to live without a car.
So what can you do with all this “free” time – so that you feel more productive and that the time is not wasted? I have divided my list into two sections, depending on whether you are “technology equipped” ie. have a smart phone or tablet with a fast connection, or whether you prefer to enjoy the rare time to be disconnected from the internet for a little while.
LOW OR NO-TECH ACTIVITIES:
1. Practice meditating, letting go of thought and judgement and being still. Enjoy the journey and breathe. You’ll feel great upon arrival at your destination.
2. Eat a nutritious breakfast/snack/meal that you prepared for the journey. For those who are too busy to eat a good meal during the day, the time on the train can be used to make sure you eat the recommended 5 serves of vegetables/salad per day or 3 serves of fruit. Nuts are also a great portable snack.
3. Read an industry trade journal, and impress your colleagues with news of the latest trends & technologies during the day.
4. Read a good old-fashioned book – fiction or non-fiction – make a dent in that long reading list! One of my favourite things to read is a quarterly “mook” (halfway between a magazine and a book) called Dumbo Feather, full of interviews with inspiring people doing unique and fascinating things with their lives.
5. Plan your day/evening/week. Choose the 3 most important things that you wish to achieve in the day, and commit to it!
6. Call someone you haven’t spoken to in a while. The evening journey is best for this – unless your friend/relative is an early bird, too!
7. Practice sketching. All it takes is a sketchbook and a pen which is not too much extra to carry – contrary to popular belief, sketching while in motion is a fast-track training ground to develop your skills and achieve a super-steady hand! Even if you think you can’t draw, with daily practice you will very soon find that you can.
8. Have a nap! I have difficulty with this one but envy those who do, as getting enough sleep is one of the major challenges in our modern society and if can get as much as possible, your body and mind will thank you for it in the long-term.
9. Make a list of things you are grateful for. This list could be about something or someone specific eg. “Mondays”, “my job”, “my partner” or it could be about life in general. Give thanks for everything on your list at least ten times.
10. Enjoy the view! Try to notice something new.
1. Write a blog post. Believe it or not, I wrote this one in the space of two trips! (With a quick tidy up of the formatting at home before posting).
2. Make online purchases. Are there items on your wishlist that you never get around to ordering, or do you want to avoid the crowds at the mall? Order online during your transit time – and await delivery at your leisure.
3. Do your banking. Pay your bills, pay your rent, but most importantly, pay “yourself” – and watch that savings account grow!
4. Catch up on your RSS feeds. Have them categorised into theme and topic area so you can always read your favourites first.
5. Spend some of the limited time in travel to nurture your Facebook/Twitter/LinkedIn networks, so you don’t have to disrupt your active life with it later, prioritising enjoying real-life interactions and relationships in the moment.