I don’t know exactly how much time I spend on the train, but I believe it must be around 300 hours per year or nearly 13 days! This is a lot of time, and actually a waste of time if it means just sitting there and doing nothing. However, the time spent in public transportation can still be spent usefully up to a certain extent. Here are my favorite 10 ways to spend my time on the train.
Listen to music
I am not exactly a music freak, but I do value good music and it makes me relax. I love having it in the background, and with MP3 players and smartphones, we have the possibility to listen to music virtually everywhere.
Read a book
I travel by train about 40 minutes each working day in one direction. This means, that I have plenty of time to read. Reading a book is a good way for me to relax. Actually, I plan on reading much more, but at home I simply do not have the time and the quietness to sit down for an hour and read.
Listen to an audio book
Alternatively to reading I occasionally listen to audio books. Audio books are especially helpful for people who become nauseous when reading in a moving vehicle. I usually have this in buses, whereas trains do not pose a problem.
Stay on top of the news
As an alternative to reading a book, I try to stay on top of the news as much as I can by reading various apps on my smartphone. These apps take the most recent news from various resources and allow me to save valuable time, as I do not need to tune into the news channel when I am home.
Manage your tasks and appointments
What I value so much from public transportation is that there is little distraction; if you are listening to music on your smartphone or MP3 player, people are likely to leave you be. Therefore, I take this time to manage my tasks and appointments, to arrange them according to their importance, and to think about the things which still need to be done.
Get some work done
On a longer train trip, you can simply take with you your laptop, open it up and do some work. Not each type of works demands being online all the time; perhaps there are some Word documents you can work on, some e-mails you can already draft, or a presentation which needs completion.
Write a blog or book
If you are a blogger or if you intend to write a book, this is an ideal thing to do while spending your time in the train. If you do not have any distraction, you can let your imagination loose, and write as much as you can, and put each idea down in writing. You can still edit this at a later stage.
Talk with people
This might not be for everyone, but many people grasp the opportunity to talk with other people. If you intend to do so, it is important to be sensible about whether the other person actually wants to engage in a conversation with others. If they do, it is a great way to meet someone new and potentially connect.
Use the time for self-reflection
Self-reflection should be part of each person’s weekly routine. If you do not have any distraction, you can use your time in the train to think things over, to redefine your goals, and perhaps think about what went right and what went wrong.