If you've been working from home for the last year and the five day commute feels like ancient history, you may have forgotten how you used to occupy that time between home and the office. Here's a few ways that you can make sure that you make the most of your commute time so it doesn't feel like a waste and will make you never long for the commute from your bed to your desk.
1. Clear your inbox.
Even if you're on the Tube and don't have access to WiFi, or 4G, you can draft your emails and save them in your outbox. And then once you are connected again to Wi Fi or 4g send them in between or stations, you can make sure that you refresh your inbox to see any new emails that might have come in.
2. Read a book or magazine.
Some people find it hard to concentrate on reading but if you're lucky enough to get a seat, you can immerse yourself in your book. Or if you have some work items you need to catch up one, print out the relevant paperwork before you leave work and bash out that final task before you get to the office or home. Those who prefer lighter entertainment can catch up on your favourite free magazines. Remember, ES or Stylist or Shortlist? When was the last time you read those?
3. Do your meal planning or online food shopping.
If you're used to popping to the shops on your way home, use your travel time to make a list in your notes of the items and ingredients that you need. This saves you from impulse buying or forgetting the one item you actually went in for. For the online shoppers, you can pull up your favourite supermarket's website and shop on the go. Alternatively, if you utilise meal subscription services, use the time to peruse through the weekly menu and place your order.
4. Listen to a podcast or audiobook.
After staring a screen all the time, sometimes our eyes just need a break. Listening to a podcast or audiobook I a good way to get lost in a story, recap on the news or have a good laugh. Save you favourite podcast exclusively for your commutes. It gives you something to look forward to at the start and end of your day. And rather than dread your commute, you'll have a reason to look forward to it.
5. Good old fashioned people watching.
Some people might think this is a waste of time, but we've all been cooped up in our houses for several months and haven't seen very many people out in the public. So sometimes it's fun just to reacquaint yourself with people's quirky habits or idiosyncrasies. Plus it's good for the eyes to take a break from the screen!
6. Catch up on sleep.
Now that your commute time has likely increased, you're probably getting up earlier than you have in months. Just because you're awake earlier doesn't mean you have to lose sleep or your 'me time'. While you travel, use the time to relax or try and get a bit of shut eye that you've grown accustomed to during during lockdown.
7. Go through old photos on your phone.
We're all guilty of having not enough storage space on our phones. If you're constantly reminded of how little space you have on your phone, why not spend some time going through old photos on your phone and delete ones you don't need. Although it's a boring task trips down memory lane are always enjoyable! Top tip, podcasts often download to your device and can consume a lot of memory as well. It might be worth seeing how many episodes are downloaded on your device and deleting any you no longer need.
8. Meditate or do breathing exercises.
With the rise of plenty of apps or even exercises you might do in your own time. Commuting is the perfect time to be doing gentle breathing exercises or practicing meditations. If you have your headphones and music in close your eyes. Doesn't really matter where you are. You can zone out and take yourself to your happy place and forget about that stranger's armpit in your face.
9. Plan a holiday, staycation or a weekend outing.
We've all stared at the same four walls for longer than we cared too. Now that places are opening up again, use the time to start planning your next adventure, whether it's that restaurant you've been wanting to try, exploring beyond the M25 or hopping on a plane for the first time in over a year. Even if you don't book you can start making a list of places you want to go, where you want to stay, or even start setting your budget.
10. Rate the crowds on the TUBR app
Help the TUBR community by letting us know what you see at the station. Your feedback helps our predictions get better because of you! If you're travelling open the app and quickly tap on the correct crowding level for your station.
Those are our top tips for things to do so you can stay productive on your commute. If we'd love to hear any other suggestions that you might have.