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Don't waste your commute

EVERY MOMENT COUNTS: We spend more time looking at screens on the way to work, but we can use that to our advantage

WHETHER YOU drive to work, take the Tube, or hop on a bus, there are many different things you can do to get things moving in your day. Commutes often take up quite a bit of time, especially during rush hour. You may as well take full advantage of the time you have in order to ensure that your day is optimised for success. Here are some activities you can do while you travel to jump-start your day before even getting to work:

1. Listen to self-improvement audios

If you’re travelling to work in your car, invest in some good self-improvement CDs, audio books or downloads. l As you travel, listen to these CDs and learn how to unlock your potential, organise your day, prioritise, increase your self-esteem, or other key personal growth strategies. l Downloads are perfect for those who carpool or riding public transport to work. l Indulge yourself by listening to your favourite podcasts on the go.

2. Plan your work day

If you commute on public transport, or even in a car pool, you can take advantage of the time by planning your day or detailing project plans. You can write down notes about your various projects, prioritise your daily tasks by creating a to-do list, or schedule meetings by using your laptop or phone. However, be wary of talking on your mobile phone while commuting. Loud conversations can annoy other travellers and your reception might be spotty at times.

3. Take care of emails

Email is a common time trap during the day. If you have access to the internet during your commute, it may be an ideal time to check your email for important information or to reply to messages that have been awaiting your response. Taking care of administrative or simple email tasks on the way to work can help ease the load when you get to the office. Organising your inbox with filters and folders can make checking email a quick task. Set limits about checking email once you reach the office to assure you’re working most efficiently.

4. Relax with hobbies or learn new things

Use your commuting time to do something fun for yourself, such as studying a new language or learning about a topic that draws your interest. You can keep your mind sharp and discover new things by taking the time you have during your commute to experience something different. What have you always wanted to do but never found the time for? Sit down with your favourite crossword puzzle or magazine, or watch a favourite television show on your laptop or phone. Enjoy your time before work begins!

5. Eat breakfast

If you’re running out of the house to catch a train or bus, take a minute to grab a healthy breakfast to eat on your way. Many commuter stations have breakfast carts available, so grab something to eat alongside your morning tea or coffee. Not only will breakfast jump-start your metabolism but you’ll also have increased energy by the time you reach the office.

6. Make an effort to be more mindful

Be honest – in the midst of your busy schedule, when did you last take time out to do absolutely nothing during your morning commute into work?

The chances are you probably can’t remember. But it’s definitely worth giving your mind a rest and giving mindfulness a try.

You could also try meditating. The last few years have seen a growth in apps aimed at people who want to meditate.

But if you’re interested in meditation and apps don’t work for you, then you might want to try simpler methods which can be just as effective.

You can start by jotting down on a notepad things that you are grateful for today.

Or just note down anything that is occupying your thoughts at the moment. It could be something you’re looking forward to, such as a family get-together or new job.

The simple act of getting your thoughts down on paper helps bring clarity and awareness. You could even get creative and turn your thoughts into a story or poem.

Unplug, take deep breaths and look out of the window. The act of doing nothing can be an even better way to start your day than replying to emails or doing admin.

These are just a few different ways to jump-start your day during your morning commute. While you may only have a limited amount of time in the morning, you can really make the best of it!

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