I think I’m a fairly positive guy (“Hah!” said everyone that has ever known me). I generally try and find the good in things or in people. I know that starting your day off with a positive mindset has plenty of benefits for your time at work and interactions with others.
But let’s face it, the commute, whether it’s by bus or train, has the ability to sap your good vibes quicker than Donald Trump saps sense from U.S voters. Your bus journey for example – like mine – might be over an hour at a tediously slow pace. Or you are jammed into your train carriage like a sardine. It can kinda suck.
Back to the positivity! As a dad to two young daughters, my time to do anything I want at home is limited. Most nights, by the time I have got home from work and the kids are in bed (which by the way, their mum usually sees to) I just want to collapse on the couch with Netflix.
So those 2+ hours a day on the bus become great opportunities to get things done. I’m more productive in the morning anyway. So here’s three things you could be doing in the morning (and evening) to maximise your time.
This is likely what a lot of folks do as a default anyway. However, in this instance I don’t mean the latest James Patterson novel. I’m talking about essay notes, helpful blog posts or meeting papers for the day ahead.
Again, if you’re journey is long, split it up. As soon as you board, get your papers etc. out and get to work with focus for half an hour. I recommend taking out the earphones to do this. Music means scrolling and distraction. Once the half hour is up, you then have time to read the latest AoM blog or get tucked into your novel.
With things like Kindles and tablets you can now keep papers/pdfs, blog feeds and books all on one device. If you have hard copy paper, keep it in a folder so you don’t look a bit tardy with dog eared sheets of A4.
If you write songs, stories or anything else creatively then why not use this time to get it done. Okay, so a bumpy bus journey might not mean the neatest handwriting ever but it’s a small price. I personally have a wee Logitech keyboard for my iPad, which balances well on my knee.
Public transport is also a great source of inspiration. Not the vehicles themselves mind you, more the people. Who is the guy in front of you and what’s his story? Or that old shop you pass every morning; who owns it and what does it sell? Anything you can tap into and bring to life.
Or maybe you have an idea for work and haven’t had time to brain dump your thoughts. Now’s the perfect opportunity. When you get to work you can either email the notes to your boss or quickly tidy them up and send on. You’ll feel like you have accomplished something before you’ve even started the day proper.
Why not use the time to listen to a podcast or learn a language or meditate. Leave the ‘Om’ out though.
Try shutting off Spotify or Apple Music for a change and instead listen to a podcast. Sometimes it’s more motivating to hear other people talk and discuss ideas rather than listening to metal, hip hop, etc at 6am.
I also find myself occasionally tuning into the radio for Good Morning Scotland just to get a view on the world, the news and some interesting stories. It’s easy to forget about the wider world around you when you have work and kids.
Those are three tips from me. Let me know if you have any more!