The morning commute – it’s dead time which no-one enjoys, but how can you get more out of it?
Research from the Office for National Statistics shows that compared to those who work from home, commuters reported experiencing "less happiness and higher anxiety".
So how can you turn commuting from a stressful and tedious experience to time well spent while you travel from A to B?
You could catch up on emails and plan your day ahead, or listen to music, but don’t most people do that anyway?
Here are some options which you might not have thought about:
It may seem obvious, but even if you’re driving or missed out on the last seat on the train, you can still make the most of your time by listening to an audio book.
Audio books are more popular than ever, with sales doubling in the last five years – growth which has been credited to the increased use of mobile devices and digital downloads, plus the number of celebrities signing up to voice titles.
With the growth of sites like Audible, which offers a selection of 200,000 titles to download, you’ll be spoilt for choice for your next audio read.
The time spent engaging in a fictitious story can help take your mind off the daily grind of your journey, or you could choose to learn something new by listening to a non-fiction book.
Is there someone at work who lives near to you? Why not copy Peter Kay comedy ‘Car Share’ and share lifts with a colleague or friend – you’ll save money on fuel and the chat on your commute can help to brighten the morning.
If you’re not already familiar with podcasts, you will be amazed to find how many different types of programmes are available to suit your tastes which can be downloaded or streamed to your phone or computer in a matter of seconds.
Whether you like to keep up to date with the latest in news, sport, entertainment or fashion, or just want a laugh with a comedian and to catch up on a favourite show, podcasts can be a great companion, particularly on longer commutes.
Practice public speaking
It might seem a bit strange heading to work while listening to your own voice, but bear with us on this one. If you have a pitch coming up, why not record yourself practicing it and play it back on the morning commute?
This will give you a chance to listen back and identify points where you could improve and, who knows, it could help you to land an important contract or opportunity.
Write a blog
Commuters stuck on public transport for more than 15 minutes will invariably find their minds wandering.
So while you’re looking out of the window lost in thought, why not put those thoughts onto paper or make a note on your phone?
You will probably feel better for it, even if you don’t want to publish it, but there’s an audience for everyone on the internet – so blogging about a hobby or interest can be a rewarding past-time.