To many people, commutes to the city from the ‘burbs may seem like a tedious task. However, we believe that commutes give you an opportunity to do more – while on public transportation!
Chances are your move to the ‘burbs comes with an increased commute time. Whether you’ll be hopping on a train or bus or, even, jumping in your car or on your bike, it’s likely you’ll commit an extra hour or two (or three…) each week to getting to and from work. But before you reconsider suburbia for a quicker round trip, consider the benefits of an AM/PM commute — more often than not, suburbanites come to enjoy this daily routine and, with it, some surprising perks you won’t find in your now-short city sprint to the office.
Take time to map out your day’s goals
Walking in the office can, often, feel like being shot out of a cannon. Before you can even get to your desk your email is buzzing, phones are ringing and there’s a fast-growing stack of to dos lining your inbox. The morning commute can be a great time to clear your head and begin mentally working through your goals for the day. Entrepreneur and author Thomas Oppong explains,
“Start with the end in mind and focus on process that can get you there…You should have a clear sense of what is important to you and get to work immediately.” If you’re using public transportation, take time to jot down notes, create lists or outline your strategy for success. If you’re biking or driving, even a few minutes spent thinking through the day can have a massive impact once you get to work.
Learn, grow and get some “me time” in
While it may sound counterintuitive to the traditional “rush hour” mentality, commutes are a great time to tackle personal tasks that simply don’t have a space in your “real life.” Grab a book, audiobook or podcast and dig in — it’s easy enough to read or listen no matter where you are and no matter how hectic the commuting universe around you feels. And if you get delayed or stuck between stations, exists or general congestion, you’ll have something to keep you happy and occupied — a win/win!
Create new connections
If you’re commuting via train, bus or other public transportation, chances are you’ll begin to see the same people day after day. Use this as a prime opportunity strike up conversation with your new neighbors — they are getting on at your stop, after all! — or, even, to network with colleagues or others in your industry who you may not see or have the chance to engage with on a regular basis. Look for clues like trade publications, letterhead or documents from area schools or other go-tos, then find a prime time to engage and introduce yourself. This could become the perfect environment for building both your personal and professional circle!
Spend time together
Many couples or families, even, wind up commuting to or from the city each day — so make the most of it! Like walking into the office, coming home at night can be hectic at best — there’s dinner to make, lunches to prep, homework to review and other daily must-dos. Taking a few minutes during the commute to discuss upcoming plans, pay bills, work through calendars and, even, just chat for a few undisturbed minutes can be a welcome add-on to your morning or evening routine. By the time you walk through the door at home you’ll feel refresh, recharged and ready to tackle it all.
Same goes for co-workers, too. If you’ve got a colleague who makes the same AM or PM run as you, use that as an opportunity to get work done without the hustle and bustle that’s often happening in an office. Schedule “commute meetings” on the train, bus or during a car pool and, chances are, you’ll get through your work even faster than you would on the clock and — bonus! — you’ll never need to stay late or come in early to meet with one another.
If you’ll work in the city post-move, chances are you’ve got a solid commute ahead of you. The average New Yorker spends between six and seven hours commuting per week, while in LA those working in the city can expect to commit four to five hours per week for their daily commutes. Chicago, San Francisco and Miami aren’t far off, either meaning, no matter where you’re heading, it’s time to embrace the commute and all of the incredible benefits that come with it. After a few weeks you’ll no doubt see the perks that come with this uninterrupted time. Happy commuting!
Considering making the leaps to the ‘burbs in 2016? Start here: with Suburban Jungle’s online questionnaire. This online tool was designed to streamline your conversations and get you started on the path to suburbia. It’s fast, it’s easy and it will no doubt help you start digging in now.