Things to Do on a Long Commute

Monday, June 17, 2019

Earlier this year, when I was in between apartments, I not only moved into my parents' townhouse for a brief period of time but became a long-drive commuter.  If that's not a thing, it should be known henceforth as a form of corporal punishment.  My 15 minute bus ride transformed into an hour and a half journey to and from work.

With time on my hands and loads of traffic in the way, I quickly adapted to my new life chained to my car.  Living in New York, I traveled up to two hours one way on public transportation, but I was able to read.  That type of activity is discouraged when you're operating heavy machinery for some reason.

So, I looked for new ways to make my time useful and entertaining. Here are a few things I delved into.

Learn a Language

This was actually super easy and fun to do while I was driving.  Specifically, I listened to Coffee Break Spanish (they have a bunch of other languages available).  I improved my Spanish pretty quickly and even created Spanish music playlists to further pursue phrases and pronunciations. All for free!

Get Into A New Podcast

As I mentioned in my Podcasts I'm Digging Right Now post back in April, I started listening to a lot of new podcasts.  A long drive allows you to complete an entire episode so you don't have to wait to find out the ending.  And, if you happen to be browsing for a great podcast, I heard Reseller Water Cooler is pretty dope.

Start an Audio Book

I still love reading, and I was missing out on the way that reading allows you to create a movie in your head.  I snagged two free books through Audible and listened along as the miles wore on, and on, and on...

Set Goals for the Day

Each morning, I would turn the radio off and tune in with myself to set realistic goals and expectations for each day. I reviewed items I needed to accomplish and envisioned myself completing them. Picturing myself completing larger projects really gave me an extra push and allowed me to be excited for my day.

Call Friends & Reconnect

On the way home from work, I used the opportunity to chat with friends I hadn't spoken with in a while and used it as time to get back in touch without bills or chores to distract me.  I could stay totally focused on my friend and strengthen our friendships.  

These are just a few ways I kept it together on my commute - hope they help make yours a much more smoother ride!

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