How I Use The Commute To Be Better

In a previous post, I mused on what fellow commuters do during the travel time of their commute. How some use the time wisely, and others not so much. Although I gave my opinion on how I perceived their time not being utilised, I didn’t digress on what I do. So let’s move that spotlight and judge what I do and whether it’s worthwhile (which is almost certainly not the most correct way). In the last six months my outlook on life has changed drastically. I have become so much more grateful, more content, and more motivated in all avenues of my life. My goals have been set higher, they’re more achievable, and most importantly my work/life balance has reached a healthy equilibrium.

All of this I attribute to utilising my commute time to the fullest. I’ll expand on some of the items I do, and hopefully you will find these helpful too.

The Short List

  • Read a lot of inspirational material.
  • Watch TED talks videos.
  • Write
  • Read Novels (mostly classic novels)
  • Nothing at all.

The Long List

Read inspirational material

What kicked off my motivational reading was this article on Medium.com about productivity which I happened to come across.

Medium is such an inspiring place. I’ve learnt so much here, been inspired to write, motivated to be bigger and better than I thought possible, and to manage my time exceptionally well.

Twitter is a fantastic source of great material, if you are following the right people that is. Some key people I’ve found to tweet good content are:

TED Talks

If you haven’t heard of TED Talks, you have been missing out immensely! TEDx is a conference held in many cities around the world where a bunch of smart people talk about smart things promoting creativity, motivation, interesting life stories, and more.

Here are some Talks that have changed my life, and may just change yours.

  • Amy Cuddy : Your body language shapes who you are (watch)
  • Simon Sinek : How great leaders inspire action (watch)
  • Dan Pink : The puzzle of motivation (watch)
  • Larry Smith : Why you will fail to have a great career (watch)

There are so many more.

And yes, TED does have mobile apps which allow talks to be downloaded and played offline.

Write

With all this inspiration that I’ve been reading and watching, I’ve gained this compulsive need to create my own content, and perhaps inspire and motivate others.

Writing has helped me put these jumbled thoughts of mine in a more structured format, and actually storing them to be read in future.

The more I’ve written, the more creatively I’ve been viewing the world.

Quite refreshing actually.

Read

Classic novels are great. The stories are good, the language fantastic, and the imagination wild (well, for that era at least).

When reading these novels, I’m always amazed to read that life was still very similar a century ago. The characters experience the same feelings and questions as we do in today’s world.

Nothing at all

Sometimes, I simply just do nothing. Kind of like meditation. But on a train.

Popping the earphones on, closing my eyes, and swaying to the gentle rocking of the train (not really gentle) is surprisingly beneficial as it provides a time for information to sink in, or ideas to cultivate.

There are probably better ways to spend time on the commute than what I’ve described here, but these have genuinely helped me learn better, work better, simply live better.