Many of us face a long commute to work. Often, because while we work in the city, house prices are so inflated that we couldn’t possibly afford to live there. Or, you might have decided to move to the suburbs to raise your family or to be closer to other relatives.
A new job, a promotion or a transfer can mean that your work moves away from your house. Sometimes, even if we live relatively near to where we work, it can still take a long time to get there in rush hour traffic.
While commutes are common, most of us hate them. We feel like we’re wasting our day sitting on the bus or in the car. We’re tired, and grumpy and traffic makes us feel angry and stressed out. This can mean that by the time you sit down on your desk, you are already ready to go home, that you can’t focus and that you are already in a bad mood.
But, it doesn’t have to be like this. Learn how to love your commute. If you are spending hours every week doing it, you should make an effort to get more out of it. Enjoying your commute more can improve your performance at work, and boost your mood.
Take the Train
Sitting in a car barely moving in traffic is terribly stressful. There’s little that you can do when you are concentrating on the road, and accidents are more likely when traffic is terrible, and everyone is in a rush. So, take the train instead. Risks of a railroad accident are low, you’ll be able to do other things and having control taken away from you can decrease your stress levels.
Vary Your Route
A big part of why we hate the commute is that it’s boring. So, change things up. Get the train some days, drive others. Try driving alternate routes, or parking further away and walking or cycling some of the journey.
If you do have to drive to work, could you car share? Is there anyone that you could share your journey with, that works with or near you? Could you pick someone up along the way? Car sharing gives you someone to talk to, can reduce costs, is better for the environment and could mean that you can share the driving too.
Try to Make the Most of the Time
If you are on the train or bus, spend the outward commute preparing for your day. Take a look at, or write your to-do list, listen to a motivational podcast, make any calls or send emails that you need to, and generally prepare so that you can hit the ground running when you arrive at your desk.
On the return journey, spend some time thinking about your day. Meditate if you can to soothe your mind, or spend time sorting through any problems. You could even call a friend or say hi to someone on the train. This can mean that you are ready to relax as soon as you get home, having already left work behind.