Living in London likely means spending at least an hour commuting back and forth from work every day. For those who get to roll out of bed 10 minutes before work starts, we envy you! But for the rest of us, commuting takes away our precious beauty sleep and holds us up for dinner at night. Although you might be feeling half-human, half-zombie, your commute doesn’t have to be an entire waste of time. Believe it or not, there are ways to make your commute a productive (or at least entertaining) part of your day.
Podcasts are HUGE right now. Wherever you go, everyone seems to have a podcast they’re obsessed with and just won’t stop talking about. Whether you’re a seasoned podcast listener or you’ve never heard a single one (in which case where have you been?!), this is a fantastic way to lose yourself on your commute and stay entertained for the whole ride. Are you into comedy, crime, drama, horror stories, or something totally different? There’s a podcast for ALL of that and more. Find a handy guide on some of the hottest ones you should check out below!
Write up your shopping list
Odds are decent that on any given day, you’ll realize you need to make yet another trip to the local store. You could just put if off and survive on yet another Deliveroo order, or you could be wise and jot down a few essentials and save time for when you finally decide to swing by the store, with a rumbling stomach.
It’s the perfect little task you can accomplish on any commute. We literally write ours in our notes folder on our phone! So surely you can spare five minutes that would otherwise be spent staring sleepily into space. You’ll thank yourself later when you arrive at the store with your list in hand and can be in and out within five minutes.
Catch up on the latest music
Music! It’s the cure-all for boredom, everyone loves it and once you hit play it takes literally no effort. Commuting means you’re not driving a car to work, though, so the radio sadly isn’t an option. Good thing our technology addiction means we can bring the radio to us!
Maybe there’s a new album out that you’ve been meaning to listen to, so why not download it and pop those earbuds in. Maybe you’re just craving some old tunes, but how often do you get the chance to sit (or stand) around and listen to your favourites? You certainly have the time now. Best of all, it leaves you hands-free, just in case you’re forced to maintain a death grip on the bit of bar you can reach on the tube.
Remember always being jealous of that person you knew who could solve this infuriating little puzzle? Why not spend your commute learning their secrets yourself! Don’t lie, you know everyone is impressed by a Rubik’s Cube master, not to mention they’re just so darn fun. Once you’ve got the skills, you can use them to be the centre of attention at parties, to upgrade your dating app bio, whatever you desire, really. Maybe you can even beat the record time of that person you knew and put them to shame. Just don’t get too overexcited spinning and flipping your cube on the tube; one unexpected lurch and you could send it flying right into the crowd, where you’ll never find it again.
Organize your email inbox
Just when we thought we’d finally cleared our email folder, another 40 soon come flooding in. It’s a never-ending cycle, and I’m sure I’m not the only one feeling the same. If your commute graces you with wifi (or any service at all), use the time to organize your inbox. It’s certainly not fun, but the neat freak inside you will be thanking you later! When it’s done, you’ll feel super proud of your sleek message folders and you can start the process of messing them all up again.
Finalize your future plans
If you’re just sick and tired of your same old routine, which undoubtedly involves commuting (otherwise why would you read this far?), why not make it a bit more exciting by planning something fun? Buy tickets for the theatre show you’ve been dying to see. Plan a night out with your friends. Book a flight to the tropics. This free time you have every day is begging you to do something productive with it; map out your future!
Read a chapter of your book
It could be 8:30 a.m. on the Northern line, with people literally spilling out of the tube carriages and limbs stretching over one another in an effort to hold onto some piece of the railing. Still, there will always be at least one person calmly holding a book in one hand, seemingly unaware of the surrounding chaos. If you’re one of those people packed onto the tube and it takes all your efforts not to fall headlong into this bookworm with every lurch of the train, you’re not likely to whip out your own novel. If you’re lucky enough to snag a seat, though, why not bring along that book you’ve been meaning to read for ages? Escape the chaos and dive into a whole new world. I mean, let’s face it, who knows when you’ll have the chance again? This is free time you’re guaranteed to have to spend every single day; make the most of it!
We know what you’re thinking: It takes months, maybe even a year, to learn a new language! True, but with all the time you spend commuting you probably could have learned a few new ones by now. If you spend an hour or two a day practicing, depending on the language you’ll be an expert speaker in no time! This suggestion comes with the assumption that you’re not shy about blurting out random words and phrases to nobody in particular as you rehearse with whatever program you use. If that’s not your style, we understand, but if it is then there’s tons of language apps you can use! Imagine being fluent in a whole other language without taking any extra time out of your day to do it. Find a list of some of the best apps below and become the next expert in French, Mandarin, Italian, Swedish…
Finish up those work tasks
If you’re a procrastinator, there may be a report or task due at work today that you were going to hurriedly type up at the office when you arrived. We’ve all been there, but if it’s something you can do on your commute then you can avoid the mad rush and the stress of trying to get it done before your boss comes in. And if you’re always on time with your assignments, good for you! You can plan ahead and start working on the next one!