4 Things to Make the Most out of Your Long Commute

I’ve decided to do a bit of a different post this week; most of us have a long commute to work in some form or another, but not many of us use it to our real advantage.

As I’ve mentioned before on my blog I’ve started a new job recently, which has a bit of a longer commute than I was used to.

I spend at least 50 mins in a car travelling to work (and back again), which isn’t too tragic I know but that’s nearly 2 hours a day, just me sitting and driving my car.

I’m the kind of person who tries to make the most of my time and moans about there not being enough hours in the day.  This got me thinking about how I could use that time better and to make the most of it, to make it go quicker.

What to do on your long commute?

So here’s 4 things you can start doing in your long commute that could help you save time elsewhere.

1. Podcasts


Image by James Pond

Podcasts could be listened to on any type of long commute; whether you drive, cycle, catch a train, bus or whatever.  I’ve got to admit though I’m very new to podcasts, so I’ve only recently discovered that there are literally hundreds of podcast series on anything out there, all just waiting to be listened to.

If you’re fed up with your playlist or iPod shuffle then jump on board the Podcast ship and search for anything you have an interest in, seriously.  Lately, I’ve listened to a few Desert Island Disc’s (the Tom Hanks one had me smiling all the way home ) and the hilarious My Dad Wrote a Porno.

There are more knowledgable and cultural ones for the more serious type, for example after introducing my boyfriend to podcasts he opted for a historical podcast about the Battle of Agincourt.   My ‘serious podcast-listening’ will come in time…

2.  Read


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My longest commute was 1 hour 40 minutes.  It was a time before I bought a car and relied on the kindness (?) of trains, not strangers.  London would have actually been a shorter commute for me at this time, which I grew frustrated with.  Until I got back into reading.

I’ve always been a reader but I also found it hard to make the time for reading after I had come back from travelling.  So when I started this commute I discovered all the free time I had on the train and so I got back into reading in a big way.  Going through at least one book a week gave me the thirst to read more but more importantly, made my journey seem quicker.  I was soon finding that I’d become so lost in the chapter I was reading it would soon be my stop!

3.  Learn a bloody Language

Sorry for the somewhat aggressive demand above, but this is something I feel strongly about.  There’s not enough emphasis put on us Brits to learn other languages, although that doesn’t mean I’m not fluent in any other language, but I do try when I go abroad.

Have you always wanted to learn Italian?  Go buy an audio course.  Fancy refreshing your Spanish?  Download one of the numerous free podcasts and get going.

For those of you who drive this is a particularly good way to use your commute.  They say learning languages is all about repetition, so go ahead and listen to your audio course, podcast or whatever, everyday on your way to work.  If you’re in your car you don’t even need to get embarrassed about speaking out loud because no-one will hear you!  (Unless of course you lift share.)

4.  Blog/Write


Image by Thomas Lefebvre

Finally, this one is for all aspiring writers, novelists and bloggers out there. You may find, like me, you don’t always have the time just to write.  But if you’re not driving on your way to work there is no stopping you bashing out that witty blog post on the bus to the office.

If you’re a creative person it’s so important to keep that outlet going.  Plus, working in the mornings apparently gives you the best ideas and gets your mind buzzing before work.  So get your creative juices going, who knows you might see something on your commute that inspires a fantastic novel idea.

What do you do on your long commute?

Those are my ideas for the long commutes, but have I failed to mention something obvious?

Let me know in the comments section below but more importantly, seize all the time your commute takes to do something useful!  Don’t let your commute become a bore.

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