We’ve all been there: unexpected traffic, train delays, roadworks or a tractor that slows your journey right down (working in a countryside office means that we see a lot of tractors!) are all things that can make your morning commute to work a very unpleasant experience. Putting emphasis on our journeys to work might sound silly, but research from the Office for National Statistics shows that our commute to work can have a direct effect on our happiness, well-being and stress levels.
With this in mind, here are some top tips on how to get through a morning commute and stay productive and positive!
It’s very easy to get into the mindset of leaving as little time as possible for your morning journey – after all, studies also show how much sleep can impact your day so many people get into the habit of clinging on to every extra minute of sleep they can. But, leaving a little bit of time for your journey is one easy way of reducing stress and starting your morning in a positive way.
An obvious one, but music is one of the biggest mood enhancers in the car. Try changing the radio channel or listening to a new genre to spruce it up a bit and always leave a nice positive song in your head for the rest of the morning. If you aren’t a huge fan of music, take the time to listen to your favourite novel or self-help book to really get you thinking for the day. And don’t forget about podcasts, which can be extremely worthwhile. With the huge variety of different genres out there you can listen to almost anything, from thrillers to comedy as well as health and fitness; we’ve found that listening to podcasts can also provide food for thought to discuss with your team.
Take a few moments in the car to go through all of your tasks for the day and even say them out loud. Think about areas where you might need to ask for help or where you can involve other members of the team. Many people don’t want to use their ‘me time’ to think about work before they’ve arrived at their desk, but spending just a bit of time planning how your day might look – even if it changes throughout the course of the day – can make the day ahead seem much more manageable.
We’ve all had those lightbulb moments that often happen when you’re least expecting them to. In the car, or on a bus or train, can be the best places for these moments! If you’re trying to think of a solution to a problem or the next big idea, let your mind wander on your morning commute and you might be surprised what you come up with.
Of course, it’s not all about work! Try using your time to organise things outside of work too. What do you have planned in the week? What could you cook for dinner? When are you able to get to that fitness class you’ve kept threatening to do? Having a good work-life balance is very important to us at Neo PR, so we always make sure that we are able to fit in the things that are important to us throughout our working week.
Our activities for Stress Awareness Month and Mental Health Awareness Week really got us thinking about how we can manage our stress and anxiety both at work and in our personal lives. It got us thinking: our commute doesn’t have to be a complete waste of time and can be used as a tool to improve our well-being instead of harming it. In fact, using your journey productively could help improve your organisational skills, keep you on track, motivate or inspire you and lead to a more productive week ahead and ultimately a better, more relaxed you.
What do you do on your commute to work? Tweet us @NeoPRLtd.