Have you ever been on public transport on your way home from work with a flat phone battery? When you’re not glued to a screen, it’s kind of startling to realise that everyone else is. You almost feel like a freak for being the only one staring out the window! But by the end of the trip you feel weirdly…good.
Maybe it’s because for once, you’re not being bombarded with depressing news stories or your Facebook feed…or FOMO-inducing Instagram pics from your friend’s Europe holiday while you’re shivering on the bus. Or perhaps it’s just the fact you’re giving your eyes a much-needed rest after staring at a screen all day.
Either way, there’s definitely something to it. There are far more inspiring and productive ways to spend your commute that mindlessly jumping back and forth from Facebook to Instagram waiting for something to happen. Not only will they help you fill the time, they’ll actually help you better yourself, personally and professionally. Here are our top picks:
1Learn a language
Always wanted to learn another language? Your idle time during your commute is the perfect opportunity to do it! Duolingo is a free app that makes learning another language fun by turning it into a super addictive game. Oh, and don’t worry — there are options that don’t require you to recite the words out loud. There’s 23 different languages to choose from, so there’s no shortage of options.
2Pop on a podcast
If you want to go screen-free but still want to be productive, a podcast is the way to go. Daily Boost is a great choice for when you’re in need of some morning motivation, as the 9 minute episodes give you bite-sized tips on living your best life. But if you’d prefer something a bit longer, there’s plenty of other options here and here. Just pop on your headphones, stare out the window and soak up in the inspiration!
3Read The Skimm
If you haven’t subscribed to The Skimm, you definitely should. The daily newsletter gives you the news you actually want to read, delivered in a digestible and entertaining way. It covers everything from politics to pop culture and TV, so you’ll stay updated on what’s going in the world without getting lost in the abyss of your Facebook feed. We guarantee you’ll get some chuckles along the way, too!
Subscribe to The Skimm here.
4Play a Luminosity game
We know, most phone games can be pretty mind-numbing (albeit kind of fun.) But the ones on Luminosity are created by scientists to give you a serious brain boost. There’s more than 50 brain-training games to choose from, designed to improve our memory, focus and spacial awareness.
5Get in the right Mindspace
How great would it be if you could have personal life coaching sessions while you’re on the bus or train? Well, thanks to our new favourite app, Mindspace, you can! Their on-demand programs cover everything from stress and sleep to relationships and include bite-sized coaching sessions, visualisations and breathing exercises. We also love the 5 minute ‘MoodBoost’ sessions — perfect for perking you up before a big day!
Download Mindspace here (iOS)