Making the most of long trips to work

3 April 2017 | By

Along with the move to the new house (check out how to avoid moving day madness) came the inevitable longer trips to the city for work, since we moved further out in the suburbs and away from the city centre.

Five days a week, I have a ~2hr bus+train journey (each way). That’s about 4 hours of commute time each day!

I’m no stranger to long public transport commutes, so here are 5 easy ways to occupy yourself during the trek to and from work.

1. Catch up on emails 📧

Whether they’re personal or work related, reading and replying to emails every morning is part of many people’s daily routine. Rather than doing this at home or once you’re in the office, why not get it done while on the go? Do it directly on your smartphone, or tether from a tablet or laptop if you prefer the larger screen or are planning on typing out longer replies.

Life With Isabelle | Making the most of long trips to work - catch up on emails

2. Read 📚

I like to keep a book in my bag for when I’m in a reading mood, although previously I’ve also used an Amazon Kindle for a more compact option. It’s also a chance for me to make some progress of my 2017 Reading Challenge!

Don’t try this if you get motion sick though, it’s a sure way to be getting you feeling nauseous if that’s the case (this happened to me during the first trimester of pregnancy, it wasn’t fun)…

Life With Isabelle | Making the most of long trips to work - read

3. Listen to music 🎶

Personally I like using Spotify or Pandora, but I used to mainly listen to specific playlists of my own music from iTunes. There are probably other great music streaming apps out there too! This is an easy option to continue uninterrupted even if you’re switching between buses/trains or have to walk for part of the trip too. Listen to an energising mix to get you going in the morning and wind down with chilled tunes in the evening…

Life With Isabelle | Making the most of long trips to work - listen to music

4. Listen to podcasts 🎧

The options here are endless – use podcasts to catch up on the news, or follow an educational series, listen to meditations or enjoy an audiobook! At some point I’ll compile a list of my favourite podcasts, but for now I’ll just point you to the app I use for tracking/downloading the podcasts I’m interested in – I use the free CastBox Android app.

Life With Isabelle | Making the most of long trips to work - listen to podcasts

5. Sleep 💤

If you’re able to get a seat, particularly one against a window or wall, this is a great option after a long and busy day and you need a quick nap before getting home (as long as you don’t miss your stop)! Even in the morning and you’re feeling a little drowsy and just wanting some nothingness before kicking off the day at work.

I’m anticipating this to become more frequent for myself in the upcoming winter months when it’s darker later into the morning as well as when I’m leaving work after sunset (despite it being before 5pm).

Life With Isabelle | Making the most of long trips to work - sleep

Do you have long trips between home and work? How do you keep yourself occupied? Let me know your thoughts and ideas in the comments below!

Isabelle xx

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  1. I cannot sleep in a public place. Like my friend says “Trust God, question man.” However, when I have to take public transportation, I do like to read. I usually also listen to Native American flutes or nature sounds as well to drown out all the inconsiderate people that refuse to mute their devices.

  2. Interesting stuff! Youre lucky to be living where the public transport is awesome, as driving 4h a day would kill me and my wallet! At least on public transport you can be so much more productive, and in Sydney its cheaper than a stinky car. Thats why I’m considering moving to the city so I dont have to waste time and money running a car!

  3. Holy cow that’s a long commute! I can’t imagine.

    I have a much shorter commute, but I’m still trying to use it more wisely. I’ve been listening to podcasts and audio books a lot lately. PaleOMG: Uncensored is my favorite podcast and I’m currently listening to Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. It helps keep me awake when I get off late.

  4. I don’t have a long commute any more, but I did before. The only thing I miss about it is all the time I had to listen to great podcasts. Some my favorites were This American Life, Radiolab, The Moth, Joe Rogan, Tim Ferris, and Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History. I don’t have as much time for them now, but I’d never go back to a long commute if I could avoid it.

  5. I’ve moved to the country and have a much longer daily commute than I used too. Fortunately, my husband and I work at the same place so it’s a time to talk and debrief. It’s nowhere near yours though. Four hours is a long time!

  6. THANK GOODNESS for WiFi or else you couldn’t get that much work done on the long commute! I would get SO MUCH done – that by the time I got to work…. I would be done for the day, LOL!

  7. I often read while on my way to campus but I sleep on my way back. I think I will start crocheting or knitting instead.

  8. These are great ideas! I would probably do emails in the morning and sleep in the afternoon if I had such a long commute.

  9. I always find myself engaged in works to accomplish when I am waiting or on long journeys. Sometimes I just shut everything and try to sleep or enjoy the view as I travel.

  10. I use the time to catch up on emails and be on Instagram! Travel is such a necessity that it’s great if you can make the time more productive!

  11. Long trips can be so boring and go on forever, but these are things I do on long trips and I like to watch things ☺️

  12. Interesting tips. I like to read while traveling by train and to meditate while traveling by plane. In bus I love to listen to music.

  13. Before my son was born I had a long commute as I live outside of Seattle. I thoroughly enjoyed all the reading time I had. I actually had to adjust to not having that reading time built into my day when I started staying home. Good reminders of how to use the time well.

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