Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Commute Productivity

Please note - This is not a picture from my commute, this is a picture I took in Central Park, NYC. If this was a picture from my commute I would be currently living my best life as a reporter at the Spectator trying to seduce my boss Nate Archibald* 

My commute sucks in so many ways. It's four hours added onto my work day, costs a bomb and exposes me to way more germs than I even want to think of. However, despite this I can draw a couple of positives. I'm under 25 so my railcard slices the cost by a third, plus as I live in London and work in the countryside I basically do the complete opposite to every human in the South of England. But the best thing is that it's time that I can actually do stuff. I used to view it as empty time and I would just sleep but I figured as it's time I won't get back I might as well make it as productive as possible. So week on week here are a few things I do on my commute...

- Write blogposts
When I'm in a blogging groove (hoping this'll happen again soon) writing on my way into work is my JAM. If I haven't got any fully-formed posts I'll write down blog post ideas in my notes.

- Read an actual book
As I always get a seat on my train (major win, I know) I love to indulge in a spot of reading and get lost in another world. However, the latest book I read was a non-fiction -Aziz Ansari's Modern Romance - and I found that reading that kept me alert as it was so funny and informative. In general I find reading calming so if I'm going to read, it'll be on the way home.

- Listen to a podcast
A new fave. Podcasts have the best early morning effect they wake up my brain slowly and thoroughly. I'm not sure if this is just me but I can't do anything else when I'm listening to a podcast, I have to be in the zone and therefore it focusses me. I absolutely love the Dear Viv podcasts from The Pool and my colleague Joy loves the Buzzfeed podcasts.

- Learn a language
Me and my friend Nadia decided that we wanted to learn Mandarin this year. Now, this isn't going to happen - Mandarin is friggin HARD. But I figured why not at least try, ey? So I downloaded an App called Chinese Skill and it's so great. It's free and starting with basics you learn written, speech and listening. I'm only on basics 3 but it's so encouraging when you complete a section like "hell yeah I just got 98% on a section! I OWN THE MANDARIN LANGUAGE". And I now know that "nǚrén" means "women" *cool sunglasses emoji*

- Watch videos
I am partial to a good YouTube video of course, but on my commute I very specifically only really like to watch magazines' YouTube videos. I think it's because they inspired me to go into work at my magazine and kick arse. My favourite playlist has to be the Future of Fashion series on British Vogue's channel. Not only is it presented by my absolutely style and life icon, Alexa Chung, but it is so interesting to see the inner workings of the fashion industry. Also it pushes me to try and be a way cooler person. 

- Plan
I love a good plan me (I am forever trying to convince people that hardcore planning is where it's at) and so the mornings are when I begin the plan of the day. Any events or meetings I've put in my phone the previous day I write into my physical diary. I make lists about non-work related errands that I have to do but can't do whilst I'm on the train. This isn't everyday because let's face it, I'm not that busy but I'll do it on the way to work at least once a week. 

Let me know if you give any of these a go and if they improve your commute even by an iota. 

*If you don't know what I'm talking about or who Nate Archibald is then I suggest you now go to Netflix and watch series 1-6 of Gossip Girl, one of the top 5 shows ever created. 


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