According to the latest National Travel Survey the capital’s workers spend 107 hours every year commuting. That comes to four and a half full days every year which is a significant amount of time! It’s safe to say that at times everyone is guilty of wasting the valuable time our commute gives us. Some of us on the tube scramble for wifi every time the tube stops at a station to get updates on snapchat or reply to whatsapp messages. Others struggle to apply mascara on rattling trains and the rest often gaze into the abyss. Not only are we wasting time but before 9am your brain actually has moderate levels of the stress hormone cortisol which can actually help your mind focus because you’re prepared for learning, so this is a key time to take on tasks that require analysis and concentration. So seize this opportunity and make the most of your commute.

Learn a language
Learning a new language not only makes you a better-rounded individual, it could help you get ahead in your career. Many people who want to learn a new language simply don’t have the time required, but with apps available such a Duolingo you can easily begin to pick up another language on your morning commute.

Read
Many of us feel like we are constantly on the go and don’t have the time required to pick up a book. However this can be a nice way of escaping during your commute. Plus there are all sorts of benefits linked to reading every day, with research carried out in the US finding that reading a good book may cause heightened connectivity in the brain. So do yourself and your brain some good and pick up a book for your commute or download one to your kindle or phone.

However, it doesn’t just have to be a book that you read; alternatively you can download articles to read when you are stuck offline on the tube. This can help you keep up with what’s going on in the world and in your specific industry, which is only going to work to your benefit in the workplace.

Listen
If you aren’t keen on actually reading books why not try an audiobook. Audiobooks are often narrated by effective speakers who will engage the listener and read the book the way it is meant to be read. Plus this can allow you to get through books a lot quicker which in turn allows you to read more.

Podcasts are also a great way to enhance learning and self-development. Like it or not we’re greatly influenced by what we hear and podcasts put us directly in control of our influences. They offer free flexible learning opportunities because they can be downloaded and listened to at any time. As a result of this, businesses are increasing their use of podcasts for general communication and training.

Reflect
“Taking time each week during your commute to check in on your goals is a great way to stay on track and make adjustments,” says Teri Hockett, chief executive of What’s For Work?. You can also use this time to reflect on your performance at work the previous day. After all, you’re only as good as you’re last performance!

Prepare
A successful day can only be successful if you’ve accomplished what you’ve set out to do. Beginning your day by prioritizing and listing all the things you have to do is never a bad idea. And if you are driving or cycling a voice note could work just as well. If you don’t fancy thinking about work quite yet then plan what you’re going to do outside of work from catching up with friends to what you need to buy from Tesco after work.

Catch up
It’s very easy to go from Monday to Friday without communicating with those family and friends you don’t see on a day-to-day basis, especially when you work long hours. Use your commute time to send friends and family a message or simply give them a quick catch up call. Receiving a text from you saying hello could make your family’s day, and you will feel good about yourself for making them so happy.

Time is the world’s most valuable commodity so ensure that time spent commuting doesn’t equal time lost. Learning a new language or planning your week during your commute essentially buys you time as you don’t have to use time after work or on the weekends to do this. So whether you use your commute to focus on yourself or to help you get ahead at work it’s essential to utilize this time in order to make the most of your day and your time.