Although more and more businesses are embracing flexible work arrangements and remote working, the commute to and from the office, is still a big part of the majority’s daily routine. Studies have shown that the average commute in the UK is 54 minutes. Even without considering the very common delays commuters experience, we can already agree that this adds up to a lot of time often spent on multiple forms of public transportation or stuck in traffic with your car. Besides spending a lot of our time in this “not work/not leisure” limbo, it’s completely understandable and relate-able when our time management training delegates report feeling increasingly stressed about the commute they have to face on a daily basis.
We’re here to take away some of that stress and make every commuting Productivity Ninja feel a bit more relaxed about their daily commute. You might be thinking ‘How? How will you do it?’ – keep on reading!
Change Your Route
Changing the route you take is an easy way to force your brain to work a little differently. Like anything else, the brain needs some variety from time to time. You never know what you might discover on your new route. You might spot some new restaurants or hidden places, you can explore further. You might even find a shortcut you never knew about. One thing is for sure, you will have to use your brain in a different way and can’t switch on auto-pilot, which won’t just train your brain but also give you a bit of an energy boost.
Get Out Early
Leave for work an hour earlier, sometimes travelling to work at a different time feels like taking an entirely different journey. You might find your day less stressful if you’ve actually managed to get a seat on the tube; and what about that extra hour in a quiet office – time to drink a cup of tea, space to organize your weekly check list and no interruptions in sight.
Similarly, where possible, leave the office a bit earlier to avoid rush hour at the end of the day too. If you’ve started your day earlier, you should be able to finish earlier anyway, but if you know Thursdays at 6pm is an absolute nightmare to travel home, why not schedule in your weekly review for Thursday afternoon and work from a coffee shop closer to home? Some Productivity Ninja Stealth & Camouflage is always encouraged. If people can’t see you, chances are they’re not going to distract you.
Get Something Done
Our time management workshops will help you work out what you need to get done and when, so why not use your commuting time to get some of those actions checked off? We’re not talking about frantically checking your emails, what about your personal development goals? An hour on the train a day, could bring you a step closer to learning a new language, finishing knitting a scarf or read a book you’ve been meaning to start for ages. Similarly, if you’re driving to and from work, download an audio book or newest episode of a podcast you follow.
Change Your Mode of Transport
Getting a fair share of exercise in with your standard office job can be tricky. We spend way too much time sitting down at work, so why not start your day off by already filling today’s exercise quota? You could walk, run or cycle to work and get your blood pumping as well as clear your head before you dive into your schedule. Of course, keep your co-workers in mind and make sure there are facilities you can use to freshen up if you choose to run or cycle to work. Even if you live too far away to walk the whole way to work, simply getting off a stop before your usual one or parking your car a little bit further away could already do the trick.
Keep on changing your routine and you’ll see, your daily commute isn’t too bad after all. Share with us your favorite part of your commute or your least favorite in the comments below or on social media tagging @thinkproductive and #ProductivityNinja .
This post was originally published in July 2013 and has been updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.