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people commuting on a busy bus

5 things to do for a happier commute

Spend a lot of time travelling to school or work?


Written by Jordan Carroll and posted in opinion


This is an opinion of a young person and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of SpunOut.ie. It is one person's experience and may be different for you. If you'd like to write something for SpunOut.ie please contact editor@spunout.ie.


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Commuting, by definition, is periodically recurring travel between one's place of residence and place of work or study. It is also something very few people seem to enjoy. The ones who do enjoy it however go out of their way to make it enjoyable. No one is born with a passion for it, it’s all about what you do with your own time.

Personally, as a student, commuting is my favourite time of the day, as tragic as that sounds. As someone who must get a bus and train to college I’ve discovered plenty of ways to keep myself entertained and prep myself for the day.

Of course, if you sit there twiddling your thumbs, reading the same ad on the ceiling for the 16th time, driving in silence or doing nothing to keep your mind occupied you’re going to soon find yourself in a completely miserable situation. A bad commute is also shown to impact on the quality of your work and can increase your risk of depression.

With the average person spending 204 hours commuting each year, here are some tips I’ve picked up to make it an enjoyable 204 hours.

Music

Probably the most obvious choice. The go-to move of commuting if you will, whether it’s a CD in the car, the radio, mp3 player or phone, most people tend to listen to music on their commute. Probably good to note however, although people react differently to music, if you’re looking to increase your mood and enjoy your commute probably best to stay clear of heartbreaking hits and lean more towards the likes of Happy by Pharrell.

Buy a book

Whether it’s on a phone, e-reader, or a physical copy, reading is one of the best time-passers in my opinion. Unless you’re trying to read something like Atlas Shrugged, it’s also thoroughly enjoyable. It’s so seemingly simple to have your mind wander off and completely forget that you’re commuting and endeavour into the world of a book.

Watch something

Very similar to books, when watching something whether a TV show, movie or a YouTube video it’s very easy to get lost inside the plot. The only downside to this, which can be a big one is the connection issues. We all know that public transport Wi-Fi is a disgrace in itself and unless you have unlimited data you’ll find yourself with a hefty bill or your credit gone by the end of the day. A great way around this would be to use Netflix’s new feature of downloading movies to watch offline.

Podcasts

Personally, my favourite option to pass the time. There are so many more advantages to listening to a podcast over listening to the radio which I won’t list for this reason. Firstly, do some research, there is literally a podcast out there for any interest, hobby or topic. Podcasts are way more beneficial compared to radio due to not having control over the topic you want to listen to. No ads is also a bonus and also if it comes to the end of your commute and a really interesting topic is being discussed you can simply pause and play from there later. With radio, you don’t have as many options.

Do that thing you needed to do

Everybody procrastinates from time to time, it’s an unfortunate yet fatal flaw in every person. This does sort of go against the point of this piece as anything you’re procrastinating is being procrastinated for a reason and will probably lower your mood. However, when you get it finished be it an essay, the start of a novel you want to write or anything you’ve been meaning to do you’ll be overwhelmed with a feeling of relief and you’ll thank yourself later when you can sit down gaming or watching TV without feeling guilty over procrastinating.

If none of these things seem to interest you and you struggle with commuting there is a huge abundance of things to do. Finding a co-worker or friend you can travel with will make a huge difference. You could be inquisitive and catch up on news. You could potentially find love with Tinder at your disposal or even people watch and silently judge a stranger you don’t know. 

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Published February 22nd, 2017
Last updated February 23rd, 2017
Tags travel travelling productivity
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