As the saying goes, “getting there is half the fun.” That might have been true for a much-needed vacation, but going to work may be a different thing altogether. Traffic, rising toll and fare charges, and unforeseen delays can make your early commute the first of several problems you must overcome throughout the working day. Nonetheless, an increasing number of commuters embrace the challenge and turn it into an opportunity to expand the mind, improve the body, and relax.
With increasing dependability, it’s appropriate for commuters to regard their travel time as a legitimate window to get productive and acquire perspective for the whole day. Continue reading to learn the top five ways to improve your commute.
Plan Out Your Day
Our days are consumed by deadlines, phone calls, meetings, and projects. From the moment you walk in, the day may seem to pass in a whirl of missed opportunities and stuff you should’ve said but didn’t think about at the time. The morning drive is an excellent time to anticipate the day ahead, plan for appointments later in the day, or check mental notes you’ve made over time. Early planning will permit you to be present and ready for everything.
There are alternatives to the morning commute, which many people regard as a dull experience best endured with the comfort of their favorite album or the gratifying feedback loop of a smartphone game. According to a Harvard Business School article, there are numerous advantages to “using your commute as an opportunity to transition into your job position.” By outlining your tasks and beginning to imagine the framework of your day, you’re establishing positive prospection abilities that will help you be more effective and happier at work.
So, while it’s tempting to think of commute time as the final moment of “freedom” before starting work, it’s far more productive to think of it as a transition phase. Similarly, you can utilize your commute home to analyze your day’s accomplishments, “take stock,” and recharge for the next day.
Allow Music to Inspire Your Creativity
Music could be more than just a way to unwind. According to studies, listening to music helps to stimulate creativity, teach the mind to interpret data faster, and suspend time awareness, which is a crucial component of innovative thinking and problem-solving.
Many still love listening to music playing in the background while doing something else. Why not actively enjoy the music song while commuting in the morning? It improves both one’s mood and one’s mental state.
Relax With a Good Book or Through Meditation
Reading and meditation are hobbies that are simple to execute, offer several advantages, and yet are challenging to accommodate into one’s schedule. Social media, mobile phones, streaming shows, and gaming consume an increasing amount of our leisure time. As a routine activity, the commute is perhaps the most significant time to devote to reading a book or meditating all the way through.
Whether on print, digital, or audio, reading is a terrific way to relax and strengthen your brain. Reading stimulates neural circuits and can lower stress by up to 68%.
Furthermore, while your daily commute may not appear to be the perfect place to build a greater sense of calm if you’re pressed for time and feeling overwhelmed, it does provide a chance to reset and gain a little clarity. Just 10 minutes of meditating while commuting can help reduce anxiety, increase mental energy, and enhance focus, all of which contribute to your overall well-being.
The health advantages of such practices are now thoroughly recognized within the scientific community, and there are numerous ways to get started for people who are new to it.
Communicate With Other Commuters
Mindfully spotting individuals on the road who are going through similar things can develop empathy and lift your mood, so why not engage with them? When sharing a space with strangers, we typically prefer to remain alone, even though socializing promotes happiness.
Consider the 2014 study Mistakenly Seeking Solitude, which was an article in the Journal of Experimental Psychology. The 200 commuters who participated stated that they would spend their ideal trips alone on the train. The self-proclaimed loners were then divided into three groups by the researchers.
The first group went alone, the second was told to join with another commuter, and the third rode their usual route. Who wound up having the best commute? Those who had a pleasant conversation, whether it had occurred organically or they had been instructed to do so.
Begin Studying a New Language
Learning another language increases your attention span, broadens your cognitive talents, improves your capacity to multitask, and improves your memory. Commuting time is ideal for the early stages of language education because consistent practice and repetition are essential.
If you plan your studying around your schedule and incorporate language learning into your regular commute, it becomes a routine and keeps you focused and prepared for your day ahead. According to Cambridge Press, it takes between 100 and 200 hours of learning to advance from one level to the next; therefore, you could put those 200 hours of traveling to better use in learning new languages.