ImageFor the last couple of weeks, I’ve been commuting by train (and sometimes bus) to and from work for the first time in years. I know that, for some people, it’s a pain in the posterior and something that they would rather do without.

For me, however, I actually find it quite a useful chunk of time in the day, especially thanks to the wonders of modern technology. For example, most days I’ve been able to get my blog at least started, if not finished, on my smartphone before I’ve arrived home. When I’ve had bits of reading to do, or even research via our good friend Google, I’ve been able to do that on the way home, meaning that my time upon closing the front door behind me is entirely my own, with no need for any further extracurricular activities to be undertaken.

It’s a bit like a work decompression chamber, I suppose, where you come away from the working day slowly so that you don’t get the (metaphorical!) bends and get closure on everything you needed to complete that day but didn’t quite manage before leaving.

I also tend to use the evening trips home to do some non-work based chores and activities, like catching up on personal emails and replying to people who you’ve been meaning to get back to but haven’t quite got round to it! Or perhaps checking out plans or travel arrangements for that weekend’s fun, or even checking my online banking and doing a bit of shopping! With the advent of smartphones, provided you have signal and battery, you can power through large swathes of your to do list whilst sitting comfortably (or standing precariously!) on the train.

Similarly, on the way into work, I often use it to prepare for the day ahead – last minute reading, getting thoughts together for how you will handle the anticipated plans for the day, and even grabbing breakfast! Just a cuppa and perhaps a cereal bar of some sort though – nothing smelly or messy… me trying to eat a bowl of cereal on a moving train would not a clean and tidy person make!

If I have no “chores” (work- or home-based) on the agenda for the day, it’s a great place to unwind and do some reading. Sometimes with an actual real life book made of paper and everything! As long as you don’t mind sharing with the person sitting next to you, of course. Very important not to be reading something too embarrassing!

So what about you? Is commuting a hated burden or a joyful decompression chamber? What do you get up to on your commute?