There are different ways to look at time spent in transit. One view is that commuting by bus can sometimes take longer than it would if commuting by car, and therefore can feel like a waste of time. I personally choose a different view. The time I spend on a bus or train is always productive, in one sense or another, even if it’s just relaxing after a long day. And if you think about it, bus and car both get you from point a to point b, however when you’re driving, that’s all you can accomplish. One of the nice things about commuting by bus is that someone else does the driving. This opens up some extra time in your day to get things done. So which one really is the more efficient use of your time? Below are some things that you can do to be productive, or just pass the time while using public transportation.
Read. Whether it be a novel, magazine, or a website on your electronic device, reading is a fantastic way to pass the time, especially because once you’re at home or work, there are usually other responsibilities that keep you from the luxury of reading.
Knit/Crochet. I can’t tell you how many knitting projects that I’ve started and finished on the bus. It feels so great to be so productive while in transit. Don’t know how to knit? Youtube is a fantastic way to learn how to knit or crochet, where there is a plethora of how-to videos. Click here for an example.
Work/Play on your laptop. A long bus commute can serve as extra time for work or play on your computer. If a wifi connection is needed, many smartphones can also be used as personal wifi hotspots. Click here for a how-to tutorial.
Listen to music. Whether on your smartphone, mp3 player, or portable radio, listening to music can be so enjoyable on the bus. Sometimes it may be the only time you get to really listen without distractions to your favorite band, opera, or podcast. Just remember to keep the volume of your headphones down to a level that doesn’t disturb others.
Meal-plan. I always find that my family and I eat healthiest when I have taken the time to plan our meals for the week. We also waste less food, shop more efficiently, and it ends up being much more economical. You can do it the old fashioned way by bringing along a favorite cookbook and a writing notebook, or just use your smartphone or laptop to look up recipes and make your lists.
Phone or text a friend. I like to reserve actual phone calls for times when the bus isn’t very crowded. I don’t like to be “that person” who’s having a loud conversation that everyone else finds annoying. Use your best discretion and respect other riders. Chatting via text can also be fun and much more private.
Watch a movie. Again, technology wins. Smartphones offer a myriad of ways to view your favorite tv shows and movies. If you are a cable subscriber, there are even smartphone apps that allow you to watch various networks’ programming on your mobile device. Just remember to pack and use your headphones.
Daydream, relax, meditate. A bus commute can often be the one time in the day when you don’t have to do anything. No work, no children to tend to, nothing to do but be with yourself and your thoughts. Take this moment to breathe and relax.
Image in post courtesy of Justin Houk on flickr.