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How to Make the Most of a Long Commute – Best Tips

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How to make the most of a long commute to work can seem like a daunting, tiresome, and unproductive part of life. Who wants to spend so much time in the car or on public transport when you could be at home being productive? But your commute doesn’t need to be wasted time.

There are many ways to make your commute more productive and enjoyable. From listening to audiobooks or podcasts to learning a new language from pre-recorded lessons, here are some tips for turning your long commute into a relaxing and rewarding experience.

How to deal with a long commute

How I cope with a long daily commute

I’ve had a two-hour round trip commute for over five years.

One of the best tips I have is to play mind games with yourself. It may sound weird but this tip really works for me. I’m hoping I can keep commuting for at least another 4.5 years! I’ve never gotten to the point where I felt like I couldn’t take the drive one more time.

Thankfully these tips work for me, and they should work for you too!

Pack your lunch the night before

This is how I deal with my commute without getting burnt out

  • While driving, I LISTEN to podcasts, music, digital books, and youtube. I like to get my playlist ready first thing when I wake up. Your local library will lend you digital books for free. There aren’t any late fees to worry about!
  • I make my commute feel shorter by breaking it into 30-minute travel time segments.
    • My first 30 minutes is spent driving over twisty mountain roads.
    • My second 30 minutes is spent driving through the beautiful Napa Valley.
    • While driving each 30-minute segment I tell myself how lucky I am that my commute is through a forest. Then I tell myself how lucky I am that my commute is through the Napa Valley. When I tell myself these things, I truly believe them.
  • I make my breakfast and lunch the night before. I eat both while I’m at work.
    • My favorite easy breakfast to make is overnight oats with chia seeds and almond milk. There isn’t any cooking involved. You just mix everything in a mason jar and let it sit in the refrigerator overnight.
    • I normally eat leftovers for lunch. I’m too cheap to buy lunch but once every couple of months I will splurge and get lunch to go.
  • I take a shower the night before. This saves me time in the morning.
  • I stay home at least one day every weekend (my days off). This is how I recharge my batteries. On the day I stay home I do what I want to do and I do NOT feel guilty about it.
  • Every other month or so I’ll take a day off work and have a three-day weekend.
  • Gas up the night before. Early morning commutes can be rough, so I take it easy on myself by filling up my gas tank on my way home from work.
  • Drink some caffeine – I skip the traditional cup of coffee in the morning and instead drink Mio with caffeine. It’s just what I need to get me going in the morning.
  • Get plenty of rest – Avoid driving while sleepy by getting plenty of rest at night. Long commutes and lack of sleep do not mix.
  • Connect your cell phone to your car’s audio system. If you are feeling extra bored on your commute home, you can make phone calls to friends and family. I don’t do this often due to only having cell phone coverage for 30 minutes but when I do it really helps pass the time.

Why I think my long commute is worth it

Everyone considering if their long commute is worth it or not needs to figure out what is important to them. Here are there reasons why my commute is worth it for me.

  • I live in a poor county with few good paying jobs – I live in a small county were good paying jobs are far and few between. My job doesn’t pay the best but it pays more than anything I could get where I live.
  • Health benefits – My job comes with amazing health benefits. They are the primary reason why I work the job I have.
  • Work life balance – I work for the State of California and the work life balance is one of the perks of working for the state.
  • I love my job – I really love my job and feel like its one the greatest honors of my life to serve those who have served our great county.
How to deal with a long commute

Tips to make your commute more productive

The first way to make your commute more productive is to listen to audiobooks and podcasts. When you’re stuck in traffic, there’s no better way to pass the time than by listening to someone tell a captivating story. It can be anything from non-fiction books like Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind or The Power of Habit, fiction books like Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings, or podcasts like Serial or This American Life.

Another way is to learn a new language. You can take the time you would spend commuting and spend it learning a new language through pre-recorded lessons. With many options for languages like Spanish, Mandarin Chinese, Russian, Arabic, Portuguese, and French available on iTunes U and Youtube EDU, you need to learn plenty of opportunities.

If you want to do some deep thinking about your business during your commute, then use it as an opportunity for some brainstorming. When you’re stuck in traffic or waiting at a bus stop, start making notes about what the next best steps for your company might be. Then, get those ideas out of your head and onto paper so that all those ideas are written down when you arrive at work!

It can also be beneficial to use this time as an opportunity for exercise. Most people have limited hours that they can dedicate solely towards working out, but with a long commute, there is no excuse too! So make it part of your routine or plan.

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How to make the most of your commute

One of the most important things to keep in mind is what you will do with your commute time. It can feel like a waste if you don’t plan ahead, but it doesn’t need to be that way.

When driving to work, try listening to audiobooks or podcasts instead of the radio.

Audiobooks are great for learning about new topics or improving your current knowledge.

Podcasts are good for entertainment or learning about a specific topic. If you’re on public transport, try listening to an audiobook or podcast and occasionally taking notes about the information being presented so that you can refresh your memory later on.

The long daily commute - Tips for dealing with your commute

If you’re not interested in podcasts or audiobooks, learn a new language from pre-recorded lessons on apps like Duolingo. This way, when you’re stuck in traffic, instead of feeling frustrated and bored, use this time productively by improving your knowledge of languages!

Listening to podcasts or audiobooks

Listen to an audiobook or a podcast if you want to enjoy your commute and make the best of your time. You can listen to these on your commute or in between tasks at work. Audiobooks are great for listening during a long commute as they can last for hours and provide hours of entertainment.

Podcasts are also great for those who enjoy listening to the spoken word and learning about different topics—you might even find one that helps you learn more about a subject you need help in at work.

Social media and long commutes

Are you one of those people who can’t go a day without checking your Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram? If so, you’re not alone. A recent study from the Pew Research Center found that nearly two-thirds of American adults use social media. And for many of us, that means using social media while we’re on our way to and from work.

But is spending so much time on social media during our long commute really such a good idea? According to some experts, it’s not. They argue that using social media while we’re driving or commuting can be distracting and even dangerous.

So what should we do? Should we give up our social media habit altogether? Or can we find a way to use it safely during our long commute?

One option is to limit your use of social media to times when you are carpooling or taking public transit. You should NEVER use social media while driving. Not only is doing so illegal its also unsafe. Whatever you decide, be sure to put safety first.

How to make the most of your commute

Learn a new language during your commute

If you’re always looking for new ways to challenge and improve your brain, why not learn a new language while driving or sitting on the bus? It’s never too late to learn a foreign language. If you commute to work every day, it’s the perfect time to do so.

Learning a new language can help you stay mentally stimulated and make connections with people in a whole new way. Moreover, learning a language doesn’t have to be complicated or tedious with the right app or program.

These days there are so many different tools that make learning languages easy, fun, and accessible—including apps like Duolingo or Rosetta Stone. With these apps, you can learn languages in ways that suit your lifestyle and schedule.

Consider working from home or telecommuting

One option is to look for a job that lets you work from home or telecommute. That way, your commute is just the time it takes to get from your house to your office or computer. Look on sites like Linkedin and Indeed for telecommuting jobs.

Conclusion for how to make the most of a long commute

There’s no easy way to make a long commute more enjoyable, but there are some ways you can make it more productive and enjoyable – even with a long commute.

If you’re catching public transportation, consider the following

  • Bring a book or magazine with you to read while you wait for the bus or train
  • Listen to podcasts or audiobooks
  • Consider meeting up with friends at the bus stop or train station
  • Try learning a new language on Duolingo during your commute

If you’re driving to work, consider

  • Listening to podcasts or audiobooks
  • Working from home or telecommuting
  • Carving out time for exercise during your commute
  • Listening to your favorite music in the car
How long is too long to commute

How long is too long to commute?

How long is too long for a work commute? There is no definitive answer, as the length of a morning commute will vary depending on the individual. However, there are several factors to consider when determining whether or not a long commute is right for you.

  • Career goals – Sometimes a long commute may be worth it for a few years if the job leads to your career goals. If a job closer to home is dead-end or lacks the experience you need to move up then a long commute may be worth it.
  • Negative consequences – Factor in potentially negative consequences of long morning commutes.
  • Less personal time – Figure out if the long commute is worth your time. If you work 8 hours a day, have a one-hour lunch, and a two-hour round trip commute you will be gone for 11+ hours every single workday. When you get home you will still have to clean house, make dinner, etc. The first thing to do will be your personal time.
    • According to a recent study by Scientific American 60% of workers with long commutes claim they have no time for their own interests.
  • Stricter daily rituals – With a shorter commute, your morning daily ritual is more flexible. The longer your commute the less cushion you will have every morning. You will need extra time for traveling to and from work.
  • Leaving earlier than usual – With a longer commute, you will likely have to leave earlier than normal every morning.
  • Transportation or carpooling – With gas prices on the rise, you need to consider if taking public transportation or carpooling is an option. Not everyone can handle carpooling with coworkers two hours a day.
  • Negative feelings – After some time you may begin to resent your commute. Your mental health may need a break from the weekly grind more frequently than if you live closer to work.
  • Physical pain – Before you commit to a long commute you need to ask yourself if you are up for a daily long car ride. If you find it painful to sit of long periods of time then a long commute isn’t a good choice unless public transportation is available.

The negative effects of a long daily commute can be significant and range from decreased productivity to health problems. However, there are ways to make a long commute more bearable. Ultimately, the decision of whether or not to have a long commute is up to the individual.

Conclusion for how to make the most of a long commute

In conclusion, there are many ways to make the most of a long commute. By preparing ahead of time, you can make your ride more productive and enjoyable. Utilize the time to relax, listen to music or podcasts, or get work done. If you are able to, take public transportation or carpool with coworkers to reduce stress and save money. Whatever you do, make the most of your commute and enjoy the ride!

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