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How to Survive the Daily Commute

July 30, 2017

Whether its train, car, bus or bike, the commute to work fills us with a combination of dread, fear and loathing. It is often an experience more like the 12 labours of Hercules than a pleasure cruise. Train stations filled with a plethora of strange characters. Eyes firmly fixed to the ground or hypnotised by the latest smart phone. Ear phones in listening to warm music cutting through the damp chill of a far too early morning. Although whatever tune comes through your Beats, all you can hear is AC/DC's Highway to Hell.


With trains getting more and more congested and backpacks smashing into you with metronomic regularity, its little wonder that people cite the daily commute as the most stressful part of their lives. What's more, you end up seeing more body parts thrust into your face in a week than a seasoned physician does in a lifetime. 


And its not just public transport that adds to the daily drudgery. In spite of environmental concerns, more people than ever are using the car to head to work. Hoping that being on your own encased in your steel box on wheels would bring an element of relief to the nose to tail congestion but alas the stress levels continue to rise. 


So the question that is begging to be answered is why do we do this and how do we survive this horror show? Well of course we endure all of this because we need the money the job provides. More often than not we are chasing the big bucks in the big smoke but cant really afford the pricetag of living in the big city. So we inevitably move further out to find affordable accommodation but the price we pay is paid in hours of travel travails. So unless we decide to relocate, change job or work from home exclusively, we are left with the lengthy commute and many of us will do this for the entirety of our career, until retirement finally brings the curtain down on this never ending theatrical nightmare.


There is an answer to all this though. A way we can grasp the commute by the scruff of the neck and instead of having it be the source of all your ills, make it the catalyst for change to supercharge your career and indeed your life!


According to official figures in the UK (ONS figures) the average daily commute is just under 1 hour. With 2 hour commutes becoming more of the norm. Instead of staring vacantly into space, tutting in tune to the dull bass booming away from the earphones next to us, we can use this time to plan our work, learn a language, study a new subject, write a book.....the list is endless. Even if you spend just 1 hour a day on the commute that equates to 5 hours a week. Or to put it more bluntly, accounting for holiday time, it comes out at just under 10 days a year commuting to work. Our excuse that I just don't have time to complete a project, learn French, study Napoleonic wars or write that roller coaster of a novel just doesn't wash anymore.