The average commute time in the UK is about an hour, which
is an enormously large amount of time to be bored. While working in Leeds, my
commute time was around 25 minutes and I used to dread having to sit on a
cramped train with nothing to do and awkwardly avoiding eye contact. Commuting
used to be a nightmare for me, mainly because I get bored easily and there’s
not exactly much to look at on a train that’s travelling at 120mph. Over the
last year, I’ve figured out a few ways to make that travel time seem a lot
shorter and more enjoyable.
#1 Download an audiobook
Don’t worry, I’m not going to force everyone to join Audible
or anything. But having an audiobook is especially helpful for those who don’t
have a lot of room to move about. When squashed from window to wall, there’s
nothing more irritating that trying to turn a page or skip a song. The
slightest movements generate a few odd looks from fellow travellers, so an
audiobook is a great way to enjoy a story you love on the go.
#2 Create the perfect playlist
Sadly, this isn’t a tip I’ve yet mastered, but I’m working
on it! It’s hard to create a playlist that’s just right because moods are
constantly shifting. Sometimes you can shuffle a playlist, but every song is
somehow the wrong song. However,
creating a great selection of uplifting tunes is an easy way to get lost in the
music and forget the awful commute. Nothing beats jamming in a car too!
#3 Catch up with the world
When I find I have a long journey ahead, I used the time to
catch up on emails and comments. I absolutely love reading comments on my blog,
as well as notifications on Twitter, Tumblr and Pinterest. For the businessmen
and businesswomen of the world, the commute is the most time they spend stuck
to their phone, getting the bulk out of the way.
#4 People watch
I think people watching has become a hobby for me. No matter
where I am, I just can’t help it. One very important thing to remember, is to never
ever ever get caught. It is bad enough being seen staring at someone once,
but twice? Practise makes perfect, and a long commute is the ideal time to be a
bit of a nosey parker.
#5 Plan your meals
As I’m on a brand new diet which isn’t too strict but only
includes healthy food, it’s really important for me to decide what meals I’m
going to eat or I tend to settle for the quickest one I can find – usually
something unhealthy and covered in Nutella. While working full-time, I also
found planning meals helping to make evenings less stressful.
If work isn’t too far away, why not walk, ride or park
further away? I wish I was able to cycle to work but the hills of Yorkshire are
a little too much for me, however this doesn’t stop me from getting off the bus
a few stops earlier, meaning I have to walk for an extra 10 minutes. In some
cases, this means getting up earlier (usually a no-no for me) but if I burn a
good amount of calories, I’ll let it slide.
#7 Take a snooze
It’s not uncommon to spot people getting some kip while on a
jam-packed train. Personally, I have no idea how people sleep stood up, it will
always be a mystery to me as it’s just not natural. But once you have a comfy
seat, it’s so easy to daydream and eventually slip off into sleep. However, the
next step is remembering to wake up before you’ve passed your stop!
#8 Catch up on a TV show
Most trains and buses have free WiFi. Although it’s no
super-expensive fibre optic broadband, it does work. Netflix gets plenty of use
on my way to work as I like to catch up on TV shows as well as discover new
ones. Time passes really quickly when TV is involved; and I like to use to time
to catch up on my YouTube subscriptions too.
#9 Download plenty of
While working in Leeds, I would often catch at least eight
or nine different people playing Candy Crush. Sometimes, there’s even extreme gamers
with portable consoles and headsets. Games with a story, levels or progression
are a favourite. Personally, I like a little bit of Sims City or an app to
really get lost in, as it helps the time go by and is a great distraction.
#10 Learn something new
Whether it’s practising your knitting skills or learning a
new language, practising a skill is a really easy way to make a commute more
interesting. The longer the travel time, the more practice can take place. I
wouldn’t go as far as learning a new instrument, but I always like to improve
writing skills, plus I’m currently trying (but failing) to learn French!
Image taken from Tumblr.