Some people don’t mind a long commute, some loathe it, and I bet there are some who love it.
Whatever your feelings are, using your commute time in a positive way can have a huge impact on your day – and your mental health in general.
To put a positive spin on things, here are 10 advantages of a long commute to work:
10 Advantages of Long Commute to Work
1. You Can Plan Your Day Ahead
I have hectic days, so on my commute to work I mentally plan out what I’m going to be doing throughout the day as well as write some notes down.
I have a long drive and sometimes I’ll dictate some notes when I’m on boring stretches of highway.
I also have to walk for 30 minutes or so, I use this time to talk into my phone and write down some notes.
I have to say, the speech-to-text function on the iPhone is incredibly accurate for me and great for quickly updating my to-do list and making some notes.
2. You Can Live Where You Want
This isn’t to do with the actual commute per se, but if you’re willing to have a long commute to work you open up a much wider area where you can live.
This means you can live in a much cheaper area and save money, or perhaps a much more affluent area you really want to live in.
It’s nice to have more options and not be tied down by the need to be close to where you work.
3. It’s Better for Disconnecting from Work
The further away you live from your place of work the better it is for your work-life balance.
Not just because you’d be tempted to pop into work, but the psychological side of being further removed from work makes a difference.
I find that when I get home from a long commute it’s much easier to shut off from work and focus on my family or hobbies.
4. You Can Meditate!
Meditation is one of the most important daily habits I have, and I’d love to be the inspiration for you to start if you don’t already meditate.
I know what you’re thinking, you’d need your surroundings to be completely quiet and not be doing anything to meditate, right?
Well, that’s ideal.
But you can meditate on public transport, at the bus stop, waiting for a train, and even while you’re driving!
5. You Can Listen to Your Music/Podcasts
Longer commutes offer great opportunities to listen to and discover new music without having to give up time elsewhere in your day or have someone else tell you they don’t want to listen.
You can even turn the music up really loud and sing along if you’re in your car alone!
6. You Can Listen to Audiobooks and Learn Something
If music doesn’t interest you, a long commute also gives you the opportunity to listen to audiobooks or other learning materials.
Something I bet you can’t find time for when you’re at home, but you can definitely find the time on a long commute.
If you’re on public transport there is nothing quite like putting some headphones in and getting lost in a good story.
It’s just as enjoyable in a car, too, and something you can easily do while concentrating on the road.
7. You Can Study In Peace
It’s hard for a lot of people to find the time, or at least quality time to study or focus on professional development.
If you’re not currently studying for anything, even if you have 30 minutes each way, an hour, or more during your commute, why not start studying?
It might just be the thing that springboards your career and opens up new opportunities!
8. You Can Catch Up With Friends and Family
This sounds a little odd at first, but how can you catch up with friends and family when you’re driving or hopping on and off public transport?
A text message, a phone call, an email, anything is better than nothing.
I used to send messages to friends I hadn’t spoken to for a while, catch up with my family, and use the commute time to keep in touch with people who are important to me.
It’s a better use of time than just looking forward and watching the traffic.
9. You Get to Experience More than Working from Home
The things I’ve seen over the years commuting in and out of London I could probably write a book about.
I think it’s important to remember the world is full of wonderful (and bizarre) things, and your commute can be a window into that.
Even if you just take a long drive from door to door, your senses will be more alive taking in the sights and sounds on the road than you’d get at home.
I’ll admit, for some people, this is a bad thing, but I think it’s a positive overall for our mental health if we approach it in the right way.
10. You Improve Your Career Opportunities
Similar to being able to live where you want, if you’re willing to do a long commute you’ll also open up more career opportunities.
You never know, your perfect job might be one more mile further away, but you’ll never find out if you don’t at least consider it.
Longer commutes can be a great thing as long as you don’t let the time and mundane, repetitive pattern consume you.
If you plan ahead, get the right balance between work and life, and make sure you’re looking after yourself, a long commute can be a great way to open up your mind to new opportunities and experiences!
Image credits – depositphotos.com/stock-photo-lady-traveling-by-train
Phil lives in England, UK, and has around 20 years experience as a professional life, career and executive coach. He started this blog to help others find and define their own self development journey. Blogging about a wide range of topics to help facilitate a better future.