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How to make your commute happier and more productive

by wrich

By Michele Don Durbin, SVP of Marketing, Evernote 

Michele Don Durbin, SVP of Marketing, Evernote

As the UK economy continues to re-open after the impact of Covid-19, millions of people across the country are now getting used to commuting again. 

During the pandemic some people found that working from home had a positive effect on both their work and lifestyle, with employees reporting less stress due to no dreaded commute, a better balance of work/life and more personal time.  

Now, as many workers venture back to the office, they are asking themselves how they can make the most of the time they spend on a train or bus to be happier, healthier and more productive. Yes, commuting can be a chore, but it can also be an opportunity if you change your thinking, stop scrolling through social media and use that time to get a jumpstart on your day. 

Here are some practical tips you can follow to make your commute to work happier and more productive.

Create a to-do list

If you don’t have to drive to work, try using some time on your commute to write down your top three to five priorities for the day ahead. You should make each point specific and realistic. 

For example, if you are working on a big project, break up that big to-do item into smaller priorities, which are bite-sized chunks you can realistically achieve in a day. 

Creating a to-do list helps focus your time and energy where it matters most, instead of trying to accomplish many small, unrelated tasks throughout the day. Using an app like Evernote can really help boost productivity. Its new Tasks feature especially enables you to add priority flags, due dates and reminders to your notes, making it easier to stay on top of everything. 

Find some calm headspace

You need to be focussed to be productive and to get focussed you need to be calm. Which is why finding some head space on your commute is a great way to start your day.

If you can, try a little meditation. Apps like Headspace or Calm offer guided meditation sessions and Calm offers a session specifically for commutes. Just a few minutes of meditation can improve concentration, focus, and memory, whilst reducing stress.

And if meditation isn’t your thing, just try thinking calming thoughts and focussing on your breathing and your bodily sensations to help you find some calm headspace.

Mix up your mode of transport

Human beings are creatures of habit which means it’s easy to fall into a commuting pattern, doing the same things over and over each day.

If you can, consider breaking up your routine, even though it may add more time to your journey. By changing your strict morning routine, you’ll let your brain naturally unwind, creating the perfect environment for creative thinking and exploring new ideas.

Is your commute route popular and crowded? Try finding a carpool to meet new people or take a different mode of transport to have some quiet time to recharge.

Brainstorm fresh ideas 

The bus or train may not seem like a calm oasis, but these environments are free of some of the normal interruptions you’ll find throughout the rest of your day.

You won’t have to worry about colleagues coming up to your desk for a chat, impromptu meetings, or any of the many obligations of family life. You can take advantage of this time to focus and tap into your creativity.

Are you trying to write a novel or a poem? Or perhaps you’re working on some ideas for artwork? You can find limitless inspiration from people watching or taking in the places you pass through on the bus or train. Use your commute as a time to harness your power of observation and your imagination. 

Listen to a great story

If you’re more of a watcher or a listener then a reader, podcasts may be your new best friend. 

For inspiration, listen to Rad Awakenings with Khe Hy, where Khe hosts conversations with a diverse list of successful business people. They share stories of personal growth and the lessons they’ve learned.

For career motivation, listen to Lead to Win with Michael Hyatt. Drawn from his years of experience as a CEO and motivation speaker, Michael shares stories on how to organise your busy life and become a better leader.

Whatever you decide to listen to, pick something you’ll find interesting and inspiring to help lift your mood and motivate you to tackle the day ahead. 

Ultimately, following these steps can help you have a happier and healthier commute that can also increase your productivity and make you feel like you’re gaining some time back from your travelling.



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