Ways to make the most of a commute

One of the silver linings of this really challenging period has been the opportunity to work from home.  Normally my commute costs about £20 a day and can take up to four hours in total.  I have been really appreciating the extra time with my two children recently. I am not really looking forward to starting my commute again. 

However, sometimes my ridiculously expensive commute on the train feels worth it.  As a full-time working mum, I don’t have much time to myself. So, my commute sometimes feels like a treat and also gives me a chance to prepare for the day ahead, or decompress in time for the evening.  

When I start commuting again, here are some of the ways that I plan make the most of this time:

  1. Podcasts: I listen to podcasts on the bus and while I walk.  I love to learn languages so I’ll practice my listening skills.  On the final 15 minute walk to work I listen to career and personal development podcasts. I love Squiggly Careers and How to Own the Room for a boost of motivation.
  2. Meditation: The first thing that I do at the start of my train journey is listen to the Headspace app.  I’m currently working through a 30-part series about Self Esteem and I think I’m starting to see the benefits.
  3. Language learning:  I practice my listening skills on the move but once I’m sitting down on the train I’ll do some studying involving writing or reading.  I like Memrise for learning vocabulary, or I’ll work through reading passages making notes of new words.
  4. Eating breakfast:  A leisurely breakfast also feels like a treat.  I make overnight oats the night before. I’ll mix a cup of oats, a cup of oat milk, half a cup of frozen blueberries/tinned mango/other fruit and some pumpkin or sunflower feeds). I’ll have this with my thermos of tea or coffee.  
  5. Reading books:  I always have a few books on the go from the library. This is either a real book (!) or an e-book/audio book from one of the online services we can access with our library card details).
  6. Writing for the blog:  Ideas for blog posts often come to me in the morning as I’m freshest then. I”ll make notes on my phone to write up when I’m home in the evening.
  7. Working:  Usually at least half my journey is spent working on critical tasks for my day job. This helps me to be strict about leaving work on time.
  8. Exercise:  My round trip involves about 30 minutes of walking in the winter. In the summer I often replace one of my bus trips with a walk.  
  9. Doing nothing: And finally – sometimes the best thing to do is nothing.  Because I live in a city and travel out to the countryside I always get a whole table to myself and get to enjoy views of rolling hills and sheep.

I’d love to hear how others have made their commute work for them.  Are there other things you do or any books or podcasts you would recommend?  Do you enjoy your commute?

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