Using Your Smartphone to Liven Up Your Commute

It doesn’t matter whether you like your job or not: if you’re like most people, then you probably don’t love your commute to the office. Spending longer than you’d like traveling on a train or bus is probably not your idea of a good time.


If it really gets you down, then we’d recommend speaking to your boss to see if you can work from home on a part-time or full-time basis. If that’s not an option, then the next best thing will be to make your commute more enjoyable. If you drive to work, then sorry, this article won’t be for you, but if you sit on public transport and can use your device, then check out the tips below. We’re not promising that they’ll have you looking forward to your commute, but they’ll certainly make it more bearable!


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Listen to a Podcast

Podcasts have come back in a big, big way in recent years. So much so, in fact, that if you can think of a public figure, then there’s a high chance that they have their own podcast, or they’ve at least been on one. The great thing about podcasts is that there are a million different types available. You could spend your commute laughing at a comedy podcast, or you could take a deep dive into an unsolved mystery, or learn about a fascinating aspect of science. The best ones will make your commute zip by in a flash.


Learn a Language


In the old days, it often felt that learning a language involved signing up for in-person classes somewhere. And let’s be honest: who has time for that these days? Not us, that’s for sure. Thankfully, your lack of time doesn’t have to be a barrier to you fulfilling your goal of speaking a second language. You can do so just with your smartphone. There are plenty of apps that can have you understanding the basics in next to no time at all. Indeed, if you commit to using your commute to learn a language, it’ll likely only be a couple of weeks before you’re able to have basic conversations.


Plan Your Weekend


Even if you enjoy your work, it’s fair to say that it’s probably not the highlight of your week. So why not use your commute to plan what you’ll do once the weekend finally rolls around? Many of us end up wasting our weekends because we don’t think ahead, and so by the time it arrives, we’re left holding the bag — and before we know it, it’s monday again. You can use your smartphone to see what events are happening in your local area at the weekend. Who knows, you might just find that one of your favorite bands will be playing a show!


Play a Game


If you’re a gamer, then you’ll probably be spending a fair chunk of your time outside of work playing games. So why not play them on your commute, too? OK, it’s not as if you can bring your Playstation on the subway with you, but you don’t need to. In this day and age, there are plenty of awesome games you can play on your device. You could play a casual pool game as you make your way to work, or you could see what’s available in the app store and play one of those big-budget games. Chances are, you’ll be having so much fun that the journey goes by in a flash.


Read Some Good News


Many people use their commute to catch up on the latest news. But that’s a pretty negative way to start the day — if you’ve seen the news recently (or, indeed, ever), then you’ll know that all you end up reading is bad news. And that can kinda kill any positive energy you took into the day. While it’s important to stay up to date with the latest goings-on, it’s also recommended to have some balance. The bad news does not tell the whole story; for instance, there’s plenty of good news out there too. So instead of going to your usual news outlet on your commute, why not visit a website that features good news? It might just put an additional spring in your step.


Listen to an Audiobook


If, like most people, you don’t read as much as you would like to due to all your other responsibilities, then you could consider using your commute to go through the books you’ve had sitting on your bookshelf for longer than you remember. Listening to an audiobook is a great way to whisk yourself away to another world. It’s hard to find an hour to read a book, but you can make the same progress just by listening to an audiobook. This sector is huge business, so you’ll probably be able to find any book.


Discover New Music


There’s a whole ocean of great music out there, and your smartphone is the best tool to discover it. There are plenty of websites and apps that you can use to take a deep dive into your favorite genres to see if there’s anything new out there (hint: there will be). Spotify is the obvious one; just pick a favorite song of yours, click the buttons next to it, and then start the radio for that song. There’ll be at least one song in there that you love. You could also use Soundcloud, or use your commute to read the leading music websites.


A Moment of Calm


If you often find yourself stressed on your way to work, then consider meditating on the way. It’s recommended to meditate each morning anyway, but the truth is that most of us don’t have the time to do so before we set off for work. Meditating on the subway is different to meditating at home, but it’s possible — take a read of this article to learn how. You’ll likely find that you arrive at work with a sense of zen that makes the day much more manageable, so much, in fact, that your colleagues might ask you what your secret is.


Book a Flight


You’re not working all those long hours for nothing! If you’ve been saving up your pennies, then use your commute to plan your next trip. The web is a fantastic resource to get destination inspiration and conduct as much as research you need to make your dream a reality. One good tip is to download the Skyscanner app and then use it to search for flights to ‘everywhere’ from your local airport — you might just find that there’s a cheap flight to an exotic destination, at which point, you’ll just need to complete the booking process and you’ll have something exciting to look forward to.


Start a WhatsApp Group for Friends


Spending an hour sitting on a subway can feel like a pretty lonely experience. But the truth is, the majority of people are going through the very same thing, so why not connect with them? Now, we’re not going to do something as ridiculous as suggest that you start a conversation with fellow passengers — if you live in a large city, then they certainly won’t want that chat.

However, you can speak to your friends who are also on the commute. Set up a WhatsApp group for all the workers, and keep each other entertained with memes, articles, and personal stories as you make your way to work.


Get Creative


Is there an artist sitting somewhere deep inside you? If you’re a human, then the answer will almost certainly be yes — we’re all creative! So why not use your commute to see what you can come up with? You can use your smartphone to draw, write, or even, in some cases, make music. You don’t need to have an end goal in mind, just spend some time getting your creative juices flowing and see what you can come up with.


Browse the App Store


Most of us use the same apps over and over again. But in this day and age, there are great new apps coming out all the time. If it’s been a while, then use your commute to see what apps are available for your device. You might just find one that has a huge impact on your productivity, fitness, enjoyment, or anything else. If nothing else, you’ll know that you’re fully up to date and that you’re at no risk of falling behind.


Switch it Off


Finally, here’s a radical idea: why not switch off your smartphone for the duration of your commute? You’ll likely be going to a job that requires you to look at another screen anyway, and it’s not as if you won’t be using your phone throughout the day. On your commute, you can simply enjoy the peace and quiet of existing in the real world. It’ll take you back to what life was like in the time before smartphones, and you’ll probably look around and think ‘Wow, everyone stares at the devices a lot.’