Commuting is tough and for many of us takes up a good chunk of our day. A negative commute experience can cause us to be in bad humor for the rest of the day. So, here are some tips to prevent that and enjoy a better commute.
Avoid Working Unless Being Paid
According to David Spencer who is a professor at the University of Leeds, it is best to avoid working during your commute since the time you think you’re saving or the extra productivity is not actually real. Basically, when you extend your work into your commute time, you’re simply working more time without getting paid for it. So, if people do want to use this time to work, then the actual working day would have to be reduced.
Why travel on a bus or a train when you can use your own steam to do so and be able to exercise on the way. Cycling or scootering to work can be a better way to get to your workplace and also burn some calories. Whether you decide to do so by pedal bike, electric bike or an electric scooter like those from here, is up to you – but it’s a better way to travel and prevent burnout.
Be in Control
Kiran Chatterjee, an associate professor at the University of West England who specializes in travel behavior indicates the biggest issue most people have with commute is the loss of control. So, it is best to test the different ways you can get to work on different days. By having more options you will empower yourself. It is not always the best and wisest choice to take the fastest route. In a study done in 2017, it was found that longer commutes on the rail were usually better since you were more likely to get a seat and be more relaxed. This resulted in lower stress as opposed to shorter commutes on the rail.
Chatterjee has also found that people who cycled to work or walked were much happier and satisfied. This is because they didn’t feel as though they didn’t get enough rest and leisure time in comparison to other types of commuters. So, when commute time is used for exercise and relaxation, it is a lot more beneficial. However, with that said, pollution is typically quite high in the evening, so when walking or cycling home, it is best to use the back streets.
Next, Chatterjee indicates that your commute time is a great time to relax and practice mindfulness exercises. This is a great way to prepare for work in the morning or de-stress in the evening. You can start by meditating or even simply listening to a podcast or audio-book that you enjoy.
Lastly, many people who commute don’t realize how much they want human connection. Many of them don’t make eye contact with other commuters or simply look at their phones throughout the journey. However, spending a few minutes talking to a stranger can greatly improve happiness levels. There was a study done in 2014 called “Mistakenly Seeking Solitude” where 200 commuters on the train all indicated that they preferred to enjoy the commute alone and quietly. In this study, the 200 commuters were put into three groups. One group were put on the train alone, the other group had to talk to other commuters and the final group were told to commute in the way they usually did. The persons who ended up enjoying the commute the most were the people who connected and communicated with other persons on the train, whether they did so on their own or were told to do so.