Man on commute to work.

Commuting to work can be a drag, especially if you have a significant drive ahead of you. 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 when traffic is bad. That’s why today we’ve put together a quick list of a few things you can do to easily liven up your commute to work each day! So if you’re interested, keep reading and check out the list below.

1. Carpool

This first tip is great because it not only shortens the trip, it also saves you money. Finding someone you can carpool with will make the ride more enjoyable and pass by more quickly. Having someone to chat with will also wake you up in the morning, so you won’t be going through your morning motions like a zombie. Just make sure your commute buddy is someone you will get along with! Carpooling is great because it is mutually beneficial, but a breakup is always awkward. Find the right person and your commute will be both  enjoyable, and less expensive! Just make sure you set up a system to even out the cost of gas for whoever is driving.

2. Listen to Something New

Thanks to smartphones, iTunes, TED talks, and more, there is a treasure trove of audio content available for free. If you’re growing tired of the same old radio stations, consider trying something new. Download a podcast on a favorite topic, or borrow an audio-book from your local library. Most modern cars have audio jacks for smartphone devices. If not, many older cars have cassette tape players that can be adapted to work for smartphones. If you’re not looking to listen to something like a podcast or audio book, try a new radio station. You may find new music you love, or a talk show that will keep you laughing all the way to work.

3. Mentally Plan or Brainstorm

Does your day require a lot of planning? Are you in a creative profession? If so this tip is for you. The time on the road before work is a great way to spend time planning out your day at work, or thinking of new ideas. However, if you’re someone that doesn’t want to think about work until they have to, you can do something similar but different. Think about your week, your plans, and what you want to do. Getting all of your ducks in a row is helpful! It also will make you less stressed when you try to recall what you have planned out for the week.

4. Wake Up Earlier

Waking up early accomplishes a few things that will benefit you throughout the day, and on your commute. For one, you will find yourself with more time in the morning. This allows you to do things in the morning you couldn’t do otherwise. Try having breakfast or being active, doing either will energize your day. Part of the reason many workers are stressed out by their commute is because they are strapped for time. Waking up a little earlier means you have more time on the road, and less stress. You may also encounter less traffic if you leave a few minutes earlier. Having this cushion time will make you feel better about the day from the start. Also, if you have breakfast or work out, you’ll realize you’re more awake and ready to tackle whatever the day holds when you get to work!

5. Plan the Night Before

In a similar fashion to tip #4, this will alleviate some of the burden on your commute. Plan out everything you can for tomorrow morning the night before. Pick out your outfit, prepare your lunch, and do whatever else you may need to do to be ready for tomorrow. Getting prepared at nighttime will keep you from being stressed the next morning. Removing some morning stress will make your commute less of a chore. It’s amazing the difference a mindset can make.

In one of many possible ways, being more efficient will make the commute feel less stressful and more enjoyable. Pair this last tip with any of the above and you’ll be commuting smarter in no time! Driving to work can certainly be a pain, but if approached correctly it can be a productive and thoughtful time as well. Do you have a favorite tip for making the commute more enjoyable? Let us know in the comments! Also, if you are considering the drive that comes with a new job, read our previous post about commute considerations here!