Cabs on a busy street.

Using the hours we spend commuting. How and why.

17 of December of 2019

Today most of our acquaintances, family members, and friends commute to their workplaces. It is not uncommon to hear that some commute for over an hour, just in one direction. However, in the past decade, the hours we spend commuting have been increasing. Therefore, do not be surprised to hear that some commute for over two hours in order to make a living. Subtracting all the hours that we commute can be scary. All together it gives as na astronomical number of hours. After all, time is money, and look at all that money being wasted. But we like to focus on the positives, so let’s see how you can take advantage of your commute time.

Why is the number of hours we spend commuting increasing?

The housing crisis is one of the main reasons why commutes are becoming longer and longer over time. High property prices and rent prices are forcing people to live in more secluded areas. Hence, many people need more time to get to work if their offices are in regions that are popular and upscale.
I addition to housing, roads, and other infrastructure plays a vital role as well. Transportation infrastructure demands constant maintenance and investments. If this is not done, it can affect the quality and the speed of transportation. Roads and railroads must be constantly maintained and renewed, while the public transportation system must be well organized.

Put all those hours we spend commuting to good use

Currently, the national average of all types of commutes is 25 minutes. No matter how long your commute and what your means of transportation is, you should use that wasted time wisely. This time shouldn’t even be referred to as wasted time. If you have no ideas, here are some things that you can do to occupy your time before you arrive at your office or another place of work.

People sitting on a subway train.

Using public transportation is a great way to go green and commute to work.

Do not let your thoughts slip away

Use this time to think about everything that is important to you. Think about your to-do list, what your spouse’s anniversary present will be, work presentation ideas, etc. I think you get the picture. Certainly, we always have a lot going on, so this shouldn’t be a problem. Once you have everything planned out in your head, make sure it doesn’t evaporate. You can always use Google Voice as a tool to record your plans, thoughts, and reminders.

Audiobooks are all the rage

Not only is it a great way to kill time while commuting, but it is also an ideal appetizer before stepping into work mode. As a result, you will be on top of your game as soon as your work obligations start, and you need to start using your well-rested brain cells. Audiobooks can last anywhere from 8 to 16 hours. This doesn’t give you the option to finish the book at once. Still, it is great entertainment and you can pick up a new book every or every other week.

A girl reading something on a kindle.

Reading an actual book is also a great thing to do while commuting

Success is not possible without a good strategy

You can strategize a lot of things. Therefore, make sure you strategize your every day while you travel to work. By doing this every day, you will be better prepared and organized once you arrive at your destination. Don’t kid yourself. There is no success without a good strategy. When it comes to strategizing, it is all about the journey. Getting to the destination is not possible without careful planning. Also, during the hours we spend commuting, there are fewer distractions than when you are at the office. It might be a better moment to concentrate and plan.

Catch up on everything that falls through the cracks

Daily, there are many important little things that we neglect because we are busy. Let’s be honest, some of us aren’t that busy but just like to procrastinate. So, call your mother or schedule that well overdue dentists’ appointment. For example, last week during my commute, I visited and booked professionals to handle my relocation.

Feed your need for music

Listening to music is very popular among commuters. This might not sound productive, but that is not really true. On the contrary, listening to music that you like gets you in a positive mood and state of mind. Which consequently prepares you to have a good attitude and a productive day at work. We all know that good energy in the office is everything. Nobody likes a Debby Downer and we like grumpy coworkers even less. So, crank up the volume and get in a good mood while commuting to work.

A girl holding headphones around her neck.

Unwind with a little good music and set the right mood.

Give yourself a break

It is also absolutely fine to sometimes do nothing. When your office is overcrowded and your home life is hectic, taking a break from everything during your commute is just what the doctor ordered. In fact, this type of time should be mandatory for everybody. These moments are what keeps us all sane in life.

What can employers do to help their workers?

Employers cannot control the real estate market or the transportation infrastructure. However, they can do a few things to help their employees. One option is to organize more flexible working hours. Hence, workers can come to work outside the rush hour periods. Still, the situation might not be ideal, but it would be drastically improved.
In the end, we shouldn’t worry too much about things that are out of our control. For example, most of us cannot influence real estate prices. But we can influence our attitudes and we can plan how we use our time. Remember, life is short, so use and live every possible minute to the fullest. Make the hours we spend commuting some of the best hours of your day.

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