Get more from your commute

We spend a lot of time commuting

The average commute time in the UK is 47 minutes. That’s an hour and a half, both ways. That’s a lot of time. How do you use that time? Is it time to wind up / unwind, to transition between home and work? Is it merely an extension of worktime, catching up on emails and phonecalls that you don’t have time to do during the day? Is it dead time — there’s not that much to do while stuck in a traffic jam. Or is it time that you take for yourself, to think about how your day will be / has been, to congratulate yourself for your successes and learn from your mistakes?

I’ve never used the time effectively

I’ve spent a lot of time commuting, in planes, in cars, on trains, on the tube. I’m not sure I ever used the time really effectively. I’ve often planned to, but the distraction of other people, what they are reading, what they are wearing, what they are talking about combined with winding up to or winding down from my day, means that often I’ve just sat and stared rather than achieved anything.

Sure I’ve read, caught up on work, prepared for my day ahead, but most of the time I’ve either tried to relax (if I could get a seat), slept a bit, rehashed things that went badly for me, thought about the upcoming day. I suppose I’ve always considered it to be my time rather than work time, so I’ve shied away from doing work while commuting, although work often tipped over into the commute time.

I like to use it to reflect and plan

The commuting time that I like best is that when I can think about something. Something perhaps related to work, but not actual work. Think about myself, how I can get better at being myself and at my job. How I can manage my time better, how I can interact with others better, how I can be the best I can be. A time when I can reflect on what works for me and what I can learn.

Shall we make it useful time?

So I thought, together, we could make that commuting time more useful. I’m publishing a short weekly blog to help you use your commuting time to reflect, think, contemplate, try and grow. Eventually it will be a short podcast so you can listen to it instead of reading it if you prefer.

5 minutes free.

Simple blog, simple format. A theme, a description, a 5-minute exercise to do now, an exercise to try during the day and some things to think about. It’ll take 5–10 minutes to read and do the exercise.


This was originally published on 11th February 2015, at social8.co.uk, under the Commuter Coach series. The website is no longer active so I’m republishing it here.


At theslowcoaches we live to 4 principles of slowing down, tuning into what you need, determining your gifts that you choose to give to the world and living life to your own design. We are in service to others, helping them do the same.

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