Commuting to work can be dreadful, especially if you have a significant length of travel. Knowing that you have to sit in the car each morning and evening isn’t easy to look forward to. It can also be an incredibly frustrating way to start and/or end the day if you hit traffic. So we’ve put together a list of 11 things you can do to spice up your commute to work and make it enjoyable. Check them out, below!
1. Listen to A Podcast
There are so many different Podcasts you can listen to. From talk shows to news, to motivation, to finical education (Dave Ramsey Show) to “stuff you should know” (Stuff You Should Know podcast). But did you also know you can listen to docuseries like mysteries, crimes, and real-life stories? Check out The Best True Crime Podcasts You Need To Be Listening To Right Now. There are SO MANY different things you can listen to, aside from the radio! Browse around and find topics and hosts that YOU like! You’ll be surprised how quickly the time passes!
LOVE reading but can’t find the time? As audio has become more prominent in the way we absorb information, Audiobooks are taking off as well. There are even books that are read BY the author which makes listening so much more interesting. PLUS there are tidbits in an audiobook that the author adds in AFTER the book has been written. You can download Audible, pay a monthly fee and get one credit each month. If you don’t use it, it rolls over (even if you cancel). Use this time to listen to fiction, non-fiction or personal development and INDULGE in some book-listening!
We don’t just mean listen to any old thing on the radio. Listening to music you truly enjoy is a great way to boost your mood. Whether it’s discovering new music from a genre you love or creating a playlist of all of your favorite jams. It allows you to decompress, sing along and just enjoy the ride. You can use apps like Spotify, Apple Music, Sound Cloud, Pandora, or Amazon.
4. Learn a Language
This one will require more effort, however, it is an extremely efficient use of your time. There are free apps that you can download and follow along with, such as Duolingo. Especially if your commute is 20+ mins, that’s a lot of learning to be had! Before you know it your friends and family will be impressed and wonder where you had the time to learn a new language! Hola!
Although carpooling isn’t always an option, it definitely can make your commute more exciting. Find out the commute of your friends. Do they work near your office? Or ask around in the office and see if any coworkers live near you and want to commute. You can swap on and off with who drives or set certain days of the week for carpooling. But adding company to any car ride adds a fun twist to a time you usually would be drivin’ solo.
6. Take Alternate Routes
Driving the same route, back and forth, every day can be adding to the dreaded-ness of commuting. If possible find one or two alternate routes you can take. Maybe there’s a faster way home, or maybe there is a back road route you can take that will actually be more enjoyable. Regardless, switching it up will make it feel less redundant.
7. Leave Earlier
This one requires a bit more ambition and may require you to get up earlier but having more time in the morning before your commute is actually a great way to start off your day. Leaving earlier can help you miss traffic (if you hit any) which can actually shorten your commute. If this does happen, you have extra time before your day begins that you can stop off at a coffee shop or arrive to the office early and take your time getting settled in. Nothin’ like starting your day off nice and s l o w.
8. Tackle Errands or Carve Visiting Time
Tying into the previous point, use the extra time on your way to work to run any necessary errands such as running to the bank or filling up your gas tank. For the ride home, schedule errands that may take a bit longer. You can also carve out visiting time for friends and family. If your commute runs through where your family or friends live, make plans to visit them on your way home. This is a great way to spend more time with them without much-added planning on your end.
9. Snack It Up (And Be Prepared)
There is nothing more frustrating if/when you are sitting in traffic and are hungry. You can’t go anywhere, you don’t want to stop anywhere to spend money, and you have nothing to eat. The easiest way to avoid this is to pack some in-car treats. Whether you have a baggy in your console or your glovebox, fill it with essentials that will hold you over. You can add things like granola bars, gum, waters, nuts, 100 calorie pack snacks etc. You can also store other necessities such as hand sanitizer, hair ties, a comb, eye drops, ibuprofen, a brush, a pen/pencil, a pair of gloves (if you live where there’s winter), napkins etc. You get the gist. Being prepared makes you less resentful when you’re stuck in your car.
10. Make Calls
Legally, of course. But throwing phone calls on hands-free or speakerphone and making calls on your commute home is a great way to be efficient. Whether you have appointments to make/confirm or family/friends you want to call, this is dead time you have available to you. Might as well make some calls!
This is for anyone who needs a COMPLETE decompression on their way home. Traffic, busy days or just quietness – Headspace is a great app to help you be mindful and refocus. There is a whole slew of guided meditations you can throw on on your commute, and ensure you are getting home in a better state than when you left. I wouldn’t listen to this on your way to work though, it may make you tired (again).
What do you do on your commute to work? Comment below!