Ah, the dreaded commute. In our fast-paced lifestyles, travelling from A to B can often feel like wasted time and effort – something that’s exacerbated when A or B equals work. Many of us struggle to psyche ourselves up for a day in the office, let alone the journey to-and-fro.
If you find yourself regularly staring existentially outside of a train window thinking of all the other (better) things you could be doing with your time, you’re in luck. Whether it’s a ten-minute tube journey or an hour-long trek, here are 13 things to do on your commute that will make your day far more fulfilling.
Learn a New Skill
From learning a language to programming video games, we all have that one thing in life we wish we’d taken up. Your commute gives you the perfect opportunity to do so, with free time to get stuck into a new skill. Whether you read a how-to book, watch tutorials online, or even take an online course, there are plenty of ways to improve your skills and knowledge.
Listen to a Podcast
Whether you’re a sucker for true crime or want the latest sports opinions, podcasts are a productive way to spend your spare time. There are thousands of podcasts available on a wide range of topics, so you’re guaranteed to find one that suits you. If you want to incorporate some learning into your day, you might be interested in The Infinite Monkey Cage. For laugh-out-loud gags, look to Off Menu.
Read a Book
We all tell ourselves we need to read more, but somehow never get around to it. If you’re struggling to swap your night-time TV for a novel, utilise your commute time with a few pages of a fiction or non-fiction book. Thanks to the advent of e-readers, reading on your commute is easier than ever. But, if you prefer the feeling of turning real-life pages of a book, don’t forget to pack one with our lunch the night before.
Catch up on TV or Watch a Film
Thanks to the unnecessary number of streaming services available, there’s a huge range of TV shows and films right at our fingertips. While this used to require an always-on data supply, now you can download many of your favourites to watch offline. Whether you’re left on a cliff hanger or watching something your other half refuses to sit through, catching up on TV or watching a film is a great thing to do on your commute.
You’re back into your reading, but the more you read, the more you think about an idea you had a few years ago. So many of us have great ideas for a book, whether it’s fiction or non-fiction, but so few of us actually go through with it. Take the time you spend commuting to put pen to paper (or finger to keyboard) and write the book you’ve always wished you had.
Technology is such a massive part of our lives that it’s difficult to imagine a moment without it. If you’re travelling to work to spend the day sat at a computer, why not take the opportunity to go tech-free on your commute? Meditation is scientifically proven to reduce anxiety and pain, making it a great way to start and end your day.
Make Space on Your Phone
We’ve all had that moment when we go to download an app or take a photo before the dreaded message appears: ‘there isn’t enough space on this phone’. Take the time on your commute to plan ahead and make room on your phone, and ensure you never miss a special moment again. Start off by looking at photos you’ve been sent or screenshots you’ve taken, before removing the apps you never use.
Plan Your Day
When we’re at work, we usually have a plan. It helps us be more productive, ensures we stick to deadlines, and makes us accountable. But, when it comes to our personal lives, many of us don’t know what we’re having for dinner tomorrow, let alone the structure of our day. Creating a personal plan is proven to be good for your health and well-being – not to mention it ensures you make the most of your spare time.
Do a Puzzle
Whether it’s a simple sudoku or a cryptic crossword, puzzles are brilliant for your brain. They reinforce connections between brain cells, improve mental speed, and are effective in improving short-term memory. Plus, they’re a tonne of fun to do and easy to dip in and out of. Pack a puzzle book for your commute and watch as you become a more logical thinker in other parts of your life.
Listen to Music
Are you a Harry Styles fan, or is your idea of heaven a Beethoven session? Whatever your taste in music, plugging headphones in and listening to tunes is one of the more relaxing things to do on your commute. The beauty of listening to music is that you can multitask it with another activity – pair some classical with reading for ultimate relaxation.
Catch Up on Messages
We all have those friends we were meant to reply to last week, or group chats maxed out at 999 notifications. You don’t want to spend your evenings at home catching up on old messages, so take advantage of your free time commuting and let everyone know you’re still there.
Make Plans with Friends
While you’re already on your phone catching up on old messages, why not take the time to make some plans for the future? If you’re the sort of person who’s always the party planner of the group, this will come as second nature. But if you’re usually relying on someone else to make the first move, use your commute as a chance to take the initiative yourself.
Everything so far has been an individual act: improving yourself, experiencing new things, or catching up with old friends. Our last action takes at least two people, but is, without doubt, the most humane thing you can do: talking. Speak to the person next to or in front of you. Ask them what their name is, how their day is, and what they enjoy doing. Talking in person is something we’re doing less and less in the age of tech, but your commute is the perfect opportunity to change that.
If you’re looking for things to do on your commute, don’t forget to book an Advance ticket via our website or our Train Tickets app. You can also find information on how to get cheaper train tickets via our special offers page. If you need more information, you can contact us here.
The UK is bursting with fun activities. Whether you’re visiting one of the best castles in the UK, the best theme parks in the UK, or the best waterparks in the UK, you can always travel by train. CrossCountry has services running up and down the country to ensure you can get to the places you need to be.