5 ways to make better use of your transit commute
Are you wasting valuable time on the bus or train?
How do you use your time on transit? Read work emails? Play games on your cellphone? Watch videos on YouTube? Go on Facebook or Twitter? Or maybe you're reading the whole Game of Thrones series?
Rowena List, professional organizer and time management specialist with Get it Together in Vancouver, suggests planning your commute more wisely.
"Ask yourself, 'What is it I really want to be doing with my time?' You might be in transit for 30 minutes, 60 minutes a day. That's a lot of extra time in a week you can use to its full advantage," said List.
Statistics Canada says that people who take public transit take longer to get to work, on average, than commuters who used cars, who biked or who walked.
The 2011 National Household Survey found that drivers and carpoolers in Canada averaged 24-minute commutes, bus riders averaged 40 minutes, subway users took 45 minutes on average to get to work, and rail, light rail and streetcar riders averaged just under 53 minutes.
If you're a transit user, here are some ways to use some of that extra time wisely:
1. Break your commute into segments
People should have a variety of things you do while commuting, says List.
"People get onto social media, and before they know it, an hour has gone by."
If your trip takes 30 minutes, spend 10 minutes responding to emails, another 10 minute browsing social media and the last 10 listening to music.
2. Have a snooze
List recommends taking a short nap to take a break and feel refreshed.
"When you walk in the door to the busy family and the household, having that little nap prepares you for the next thing you'll be doing in your day or in your evening," she says.
Just remember to set an alarm to wake up in time for your stop!
3. Enjoy the scenery
Take some time to look around at the city and nature on your commute.
4. Learn something
If you want to learn a second language, get a good educational app.
This is great uninterrupted time to use on special projects, and it frees up more of your personal time once you get home.
5. Make conversation
"Nowadays, everybody's got their heads down and their ears plugged and they're not meeting new people" says List.
"I think there's a real longing for people to connect."
Catch Michelle Eliot with On the Move, a column about commuter life, Tuesdays at 6:50 a.m. PT on The Early Edition 88.1FM 690 AM.