How to embrace the commute to work!


Photo by Maria Molinero (via Unsplash)

Way back in January 2013 I wrote a post on ‘How to beat the boredom of the commute to work!‘ At the time I was travelling just shy of an hour each way to my placement office BUT if we fast forward 2 years I now spend 4 hours a day travelling to work.

Yes that’s right I did just say 4 hours.

2 hours in the morning & 2 hours in the evening!

I would also say that 40% of the overall 4 hours is spent standing up, pressed into strangers armpits. So excuse me when I step forward and say I think I’ve got a pretty good idea of ways to occupy time when commuting to work!

With this updated experience, and the fact we’re all now back commuting, I wanted to share a few ways that could alleviate the boredom of commuting.

Tracy Thomas

Photograph by Tracy Thomas

Catch up on catch-up TV

In 2013 I made the fatal error of making a ridiculous statement that watching TV on the commute to work just isn’t worth it. Today I would like to officially retract that statement!

Iplayer, 4OD & ITV Player will become your best BEST friend. I spend most mornings on the way to work either on Iplayer or catching up on the weekends F1 race!

The benefit I find to watching everything on my phone vs a larger tablet is that my phone is small enough to watch even when I’m pressed into a random strangers back on the tube! Something that unfortunately is a regular part of my journey to the office.

Jaelynn Castillo

Photograph by Jaelynn Castillo

Utilise the saying ‘There’s an App for that’ 

I fully fell in love with my iPhone when I realised I could read my kindle books & listen to audiobooks without having to reconnect to my computer or carry around extra tech devices! I was a few years late to the party but the amount of space you save from not having to carry about that brand new hard back copy of that best-selling novel has saved so much weight on my journeys!

sony headphones

Sony Headphone Advert (via Yosoh)

Invest in some good headphones

Please don’t be that person who watches something without wearing headphone and thus subjecting your fellow travellers to your terrible TV choices. Or even worst someone who listens to their music & full volume and with headphones that bleed sound!

A good pair of headphones will not only save your dignity when watching Rich Kids of Beverly Hills on the 7.55am train next to lots of people in business suites, but think of all the times you’ve been able to hear the base of a fellow commuters music. Nah mate not on!

Headphones also come in handy when you want to escape with some music (I was a previous Apple Music user – mainly so I could watch Taylor Swift’s documentary but have moved back to the ever superior Spotify!) Or alternatively listen to Stephen Fry read you the greatest book series of all time – Harry Potter (I’m current listening to the Prisoner of Azkaban as I type this!)


Photo by Evgen Ivanova (via The Kanken Street Kreep)

Purchase a backpack!

Now whilst theoretically you only need your phone, headphones and wallet to get to work – I’ve no doubt you currently use a giant bag filled with all manner of things (most you might have forgotten about)  this is where a backpack becomes your best friends, mainly because you can fit close to a kitchen sink in most & they are one of the easiest bags to travel with on the tube. That is if you remember to take them off your back!

Okay so a backpack might not be your cup of tea – really it is about having a solid and reliable bag that works for what you need it for! I am a daily user of Fjallraven’s Kanken bags (of which I owe three – 2 Mini & 1 Normal) and the reason my brother has started calling me Dora the Explorer. Something to do with being really short, wearing a pink jumper & carrying a tiny backpack!

Patrick Tomasso

Photo by Patrick Tomasso

Just take some time.

For some the type of journey I do to make it into the office is a step too far in terms of journey time. For me I value the time I get each morning, I enjoy the walks & the way I have been able to come quite familiar with certain stations & more of London. And it is that which made me appreciate my commute – being able to take some time before I have to check emails, actually enjoying a TV show or listening to a substantial amount of an audio-book, that time is really valuable!

Sure I would like to get home before 7.30pm & not have to wake up at 5.30am – but in the grand scheme of things I’ve learnt to adapt and enjoy they journey for what it is.

Just don’t talk to me about Thameslink or train delays!

So have you got any little tips for commuting to work?! Anyone a game users whilst on public transport – I’ve been thinking of opening up Animal Crossing again!?


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  • Reading, listening to podcasts or watching videos are all great to spend time commuting. I once saw someone on the tube learning Chinese via an app and found it brilliant – so you can also learn a new language 🙂 I like watching the #AskGaryVee show on YouTube, really interesting 15-30 min episodes about social media, marketing and entrepreneurship.

  • Those are some great suggestions Irina! I’ve had so many people recommend Gary Vee to me that I really need to sit down & check out his stuff! And I am also a big fan of the language apps – duolingo being my personal favourite!

    Thanks so much Irina 🙂

  • Jack Baugh

    I write most blog posts whilst on the tube! Well, I actually use the app Dragon Dictate to get most of it down whilst walking to the station, then spend 5 minutes looking at it and wondering what the hell I was talking about, then spend the journey editing it into something that isn’t utter gibberish 🙂

  • Hi Jack, I need to actually look into using apps like that – would be a much easier way to write posts! Plus I know a lot of other people who also write blog posts & articles that way as well! I shall check out the Dragon Dictate app! Thanks 🙂