I can’t say my boss didn’t warn me. My own mid-interview keenness has proven to be my worst enemy over the past six months.
Nobody enjoys commuting. I spend upwards of three hours a day doing it. Fifteen hours a week. 60 hours a month. 2 ½ days – gone.
So, in the first instalment of my new ‘How to Tackle’ series, I present to you some key ideas to bear in mind to improve your commute. I wouldn’t take everything that I say seriously if I were you. If you can’t tell this was written towards the end of a bad week!
This list is designed for your own sanity and for the convenience of your fellow commuters.
1 – TECHNOLOGY. It’s sad really. I looked at everyone on the tube and train today and almost everyone had some form of technology on them. I’m not judging, I normally have some combination of iPod/iPad/iPhone/kindle going. Trains are the perfect place for catching up on that podcast everyone is talking about (yeah I’m talking about Serial); watching television or films because God knows you’re too tired by the time you get home; or reading a book on your kindle. Or, y’know, you could read an actual book. I do that too sometimes.
2 – MUSIC. Pretty much the same as above but music important enough to warrant its own section. Whether you’re a fan of Spotify offline playlists or you’re committed to your iPod (other brands of music player are available) music is a great way to set the tone of your day. Start the day with something upbeat, end in a mellower mood, or even create a travel playlist for the exact length of your journey (This is normal right?). Commuting is a great time to explore new music!
3 – YOU TIME. Well timed power naps are perfect when travelling (as long as you don’t wake up and you’ve overslept your stop; that’s no fun). It can also be a great time to write – whether it’s your grocery list, planning out events for the next week, or your Christmas card list – loads can be done when travelling. It’s also a great place for thinking space, nobody talks to you and if you’re lucky enough you can stare out of the window – forget showers, trains are the new spaces.
4 – TUBE ETIQUETTE. Oh my god people. We are all in a rush. If we could all wait an extra three seconds to let people off the tube before we get on – that would be fantastic. And if we could not push each other when we get on too, that would also be great. We will all be squished in no matter how fast we get on. Basic Tube etiquette guys. Oh, and please have you train pass or Oyster card ready when you get to ticket barriers, if I get stuck behind one more person…
5 – PLAN AHEAD. OK, so this one may take you a few weeks, but eventually you will know exactly where the doors of the tube/train open (if it isn’t painted on the ground) so you won’t be aimlessly standing on the platform. And if you stand slightly to the side, you won’t be in people’s way and can get on first. Yay!
- If you are standing, for the love of God, move down the carriage and don’t block the doors. People who do this are the worst kind of people.
- And on that note if you’re the only person sitting in the middle of a six-seater space on a train, move to the window or the aisle seat. Just why would you do that?
- Don’t hold your boiling hot coffee open on the tube. At least invest in a flask or something. If another person spills coffee on me I swear.
- Awkward eye-contact in train windows when it’s dark outside is a big no-no.
- Please don’t judge my Oyster card holder if you see me in public. It was a Christmas present and I have no shame.
So there you have it – just a couple of thoughts on the idea of commuting.
I apologise for the delay in getting a post out but this ‘How to Tackle’* idea is something I want to regularly post on Thursdays and I have a tonne of ideas for it – both serious and jokey.
Let me know if you have any commuting tips or stories to share!