Commutes are a stressful part of life and inevitable for many people that don’t have the luxury of living close to work or uni. Rethink the time you spend travelling, though, and you can boost your career and life rather than spending another hour zombie browsing, swiping left or crushing candy on your phone.
1) Learn a language
Language learning requires sustained practice so a commute to work or university is the perfect time. There are plenty of apps to try and podcasts like the Coffee Break series on Spotify are great for beginners.
You may have loathed high school French, but learning a language on your commute can open up your career options. You also always get the added bonus of better treatment abroad when you try to speak to locals in their language.
This is an activity that we’d suggest only for those commuting by train or bus rather than car, bicycle or walking. Nonetheless, it’s worth pulling a lightweight laptop out of your bag and blogging on your commute.
Write about your industry and become known as a thought leader, or even about a niche interest and turn that into a side hustle of its own.
If you don’t have time for something this involved, try micro-blogging on LinkedIn from time to time. This is perfect for students looking to make a name for themselves in a particular sector.
Sometimes we forget we don’t have to be productive all the time. Your commute can be the perfect me-time to detach from modern life.
Put the phone onto airplane mode and enjoy the world around you, the funny conversations of strangers or even some light, deliberate and mindful exercise.
It might seem small, but spending ten minutes a day just focusing on your breathing can make you feel so good.
4) Read or listen
Who doesn’t say that they wish they could read more for pleasure at least once a month? Read fiction, non-fiction, newspapers, magazines, anything that stops you being boring on dates and at parties.
If you are driving, walking or cycling, listen to books you’ve had on your list for years with an audiobook subscription service. Reading makes you a more intelligent, worldly person and that is likely to influence your working life.
If you’ve been putting off networking because you’re overflowing with work, then I’ve got news for you, you are normal. It can sometimes feel like a superhuman task to navigate the conference, expo, meet-up circuit.
A few messages here and then to people you admire and comments on blog posts also count as networking though. Start small and see where it takes you!
Our Careers Zone team can also help you unlock the power of networking and job searching in your career and it only takes a few minutes to book an appointment.
6) Avoid regular work
Some life coaches suggest that you use your commute to catch up on your emails and start your work or uni day. Don’t do this. Free time is precious and your commute is the perfect time to escape and do something different.
Knowing when to spend your time on your career is as important as knowing when to do something else or you’ll burnout quicker than you can say work-life balance.
7) Think and plan
Miss being a kid and imagining fancy jobs for yourself like Chocolate Taster or Holiday Tester? If life is duller than it once was, you need to find a way to re-capture that magic.
Think of big ideas, inventions, ludicrous schemes and put the best ones into practice with a plan. Your commute is the perfect time to rediscover your drive to live a better life.