We need to reframe our approach to the daily commute.
Our journey to and from work each day is often the most mundane part of our week.
This month’s Culture Crush is Irish illustrator, Laura Callaghan (featured above). Learn more about her work.
If you drive a car to work you’ll regularly alternate between zoning out behind the steering wheel and driving like a mad woman – all completely dependent on whether or not you’re late for work that day.
If public transport is your mode of choice, well then hello endless scrolling through Instagram and Facebook.
Despite our lack of appreciation for the regular daily commute, it consistently turns up for us week-in and week-out.
It might sound silly but it’s time to embrace our daily commute and its repeated offering of quality me-time.
Let’s start leaving on time
There’s no easier way to reduce stress levels in the morning than by leaving on time for work.
This may sound simple but despite our best intentions running late is an all too regular occurrence in many daily commutes.
Do yourself a favour and start preparing for work the night before. Pack your lunch, organise your clothes and get your handbag ready to go.
We all have an alarm set for when we need to wake up. But how about an alarm that goes off fifteen minutes before you need to leave the house to get to work on time? It’ll keep you conscious of how long you’ve got left before its time to hit the road.
These tricks will help alleviate your stressful dash into the office while boosting your punctuality.
Set the right tone for the day ahead
Our daily commute is an opportunity to get present and adopt a headspace that will serve you well throughout the work day.
Know you’re going to be cooped up at your desk all day? Try driving with the windows down or get a walk in during part of your commute.
Feeling a bit stressed out? Play some laid back music in your car or from your smartphone on the train.
Need to get focused before a big presentation? Drop the devices and opt for quiet time to allow your thoughts to order themselves before arriving at the office.
Our daily commute offers us a regular window to get present so let’s start using it to our advantage.
Boost your productivity
Add up the time you spend travelling to work each week. By Friday, many of us have clocked up hours upon hours of travel time.
This time can be used to boost productivity by dedicating parts of our commute to digesting valuable content.
If I asked you to read at home for five hours every week I’m almost certain I’d be met with incredulous eye rolls.
But our daily commute can be the perfect opportunity to do just that!
Unlike mindless social media scrolling, investing your time into content like books and podcasts will give your daily commute a serious value-add and at the same time, improve your productivity.
Think audiobooks, real books. news websites, blogs and podcasts.
Social media is a valuable and important part of our culture but if you’re online purely for the sake of whittling away a 30 minute train trip, there could be more useful and entertaining content for you.
For the ladies who drive, your first priority should always be the road in front of you. But for those who travel on public transport, why not swap your Insta stalking for a fresh new paperback?
No matter what tips or tricks you implement, the number one way to get more out of your daily commute is to simply be present. Don’t switch off and drag yourself to work and back. Invest in yourself and in your travel time and reap the benefits all week long.