Game of Thrones
I am one of the few out there who has not seen one episode of Game of Thrones. I missed the hype, but after being heavily convinced by friends and twitter alike, and a general curiosity to the show's popularity, I decided to take on the task of watching all 8 seasons. Sixty-three hours plus was a bigger challenge than I expected, but to stay in the game, I decided to dedicate my commutes home from work to this productive task of taking part in my generation's culture.
The average commute is only about 25 minutes , but in metropolitan areas, where most young professionals live, commutes can take an hour or more.
My commute is about a 45 minute train line with a bus back to my apartment. Those 45 minutes are perfect for me to relax after a day of work and for me watching tv is relaxing. This is how I made better use of my time and there are ways you can too:
Relax: Audiobooks, Music, Videos
Relaxing and enjoying are key in remaining productive in other areas in your life, like work, because they offer the balance that you need. This is why it might be worthwhile to use commuting moments to catch up on some of The New York Times top authors books, explore new music artists or even begin a series of television that’s on your need to see list. These outlets can offer more than just entertainment and you can pick up on some new knowledge by choosing documentaries or non-fiction books on topics you want to learn. There are great podcasts offering industry related materials that you can immerse yourself in. Whichever media you choose for your ears, make it something that you thoroughly enjoy and remain consistent so it becomes a routine you look forward to.
Construct: Transition, Exercise, Prep
Commutes can be a great time for brainstorming and mental-exercising. Use your morning commutes to transition from the waking up to the being present and ready for your incoming tasks. If you have a project set for the day, start going over your schedule in your head, reel off your upcoming tasks or start brainstorming for ideas to bring to your next work meeting. You probably have most of your tasks written down so don’t bother about recalling it all, but as a warm-up to entering your role at the office. If you're commuting on a train, or a space where you are comfortable bringing out a laptop or notebook to start prepping, then go ahead. Don’t focus on any large tasks on these commutes, but simpler ones that you can easily do and therefore do it now, to save the time later for more productive or heavy-loaded work. Morning hours on the road are also a great time to transition into the correct mindset you want to view your day in. Adding positive thoughts and perspectives can really help you enter the office more confidently, so whether it’s a warm-up or a pep-talk before the big game, use your mornings to get into the workzone.
Reflect: Meditate, Record
Adding time to reflect on your personal goals can be one of the most productive things you can do while you commute. So often we find ourselves avoiding personal check-ins because we simply do not have the time. Use your commutes to record your personal thoughts and evaluate your progress in areas that you are currently self-focusing on. Another way to reflect is by setting commuting time for meditation if this is something you are into. Meditating can significantly aid to decrease stress and increase focus on motivation. There are many apps on mindfulness and meditation that cater specifically for commuters. Try out a few to see if this is something that works for you.
Commutes can be dreadful but there are just some ways to make it a bit less and maybe even something to look forward to. Whether it’s for self-care or for your career, take your commute as something that will add value to your life, Afterall, aren’t we always looking for more time in our lives? Having a commute is the perfect place to find it.
And for me, well, I am definitely excited to see what all the hype is about in Game of Thrones. I’ll let you know!