Tag Archives: commute

Commuting

london underground tube train on platform

Some people love commuting, some people hate it. You probably enjoy commuting more if you love your job. It also helps if it’s not too long. And apparently those that commute by bike are pretty happy regardless.

One thing is for certain though, and that’s that our commute looks a lot different today than it did just a decade ago.

Commuting today is a bit different than it used to be not very long ago. (And with the rise of working remotely, there is an increasing number of people who don’t commute at all.) Between 2004 and 2010, the number of British commuters who took the train reporting that they were wasting their time traveling fell by a little more than a third—a drop that researchers attributed to a sharp rise in the number of commuters using their phone to check email, browse the Internet, or listen to music or podcasts. Today, workers interested in further reducing their angst, then, can at least take solace in the fact that their forebears had it worse.

CityLab

P.S. how I spend my commute

How long is your commute?

london underground tube train how long is your commute

It turns out that New Yorkers are just as obsessed with commute times as Londoners. Like Caroline from A Cup of Jo, the first three questions I’m normally asked (or asking!) at a party are ‘where do you work’, ‘where do you live’ and ‘what’s the commute like?’.

How long is your commute?

My commute is an hour each way on a good day. I guess that’s quite a long commute, but that’s London for you. It’s often quicker to travel from the suburbs into the city than it is to travel from one side of London to the other.

I have my commute down to a fine art. I know which chipped sign to stand next to in the morning so I can squeeze on the first of my two trains. When it comes to getting on the second train, I always wait for it to arrive at the other end of the platform so I can secure a speedy exit at the station closest to the office.

I know that there’s a faster route to work that would shave four minutes off my commute time, but I rarely take it. A seat trumps being squeezed in like a sardine any day, at least when there’s only four minutes in it.

An extra working week for every month

I recently calculated that for every four weeks of work I spend another working week travelling to and fro. That’s a cool 40 hours a month ‘wasted’ on a train.

Except I don’t think having a seat on a train is wasted time. It’s only wasted time if you’re not enjoying it. Since doing the sums I’ve tried to up my travel game, finding new ways to make the most of my time. My journey is mostly spent underground so a lack of Wi-Fi (and a broken iPod) has pushed me to think beyond the obvious.

At some point I’d love to use that time to learn a foreign language. At the moment though I use it to read short stories, listen to podcasts and catch up on long reads. Sometimes (like today) I manage to write a blog post too.

The best commutes though are the ones where I lose myself in stories. I’ve loved listening to Serial and reading articles published in the New Yorker, like Filter Fish by Oliver Sacks.

I’m just trying to make those 40 hours a month count.

I’d love to know more about your commute. Do you walk to work? Perhaps you travel by boat (like Alex when the tubes are down)? Do you feel like it’s wasted time or do you have a clever way to make the most of it?

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Serial podcast

serial podcastHave you listened to a podcast called Serial? It’s the most addictive real life story. For those of you who haven’t, here’s a little summary:

Last year journalist Sarah Koenig started investigating a murder, sharing her findings once a week on a podcast called Serial. She was investigating the 1999 murder of high-school senior Hae Min Lee in Baltimore. Hae Min Lee’s ex-boyfriend Adnan Syed was arrested and is currently in jail for her murder.

The catch? He says he’s innocent. A lot of criminals say their innocent but the case of Adnan Syed was murky enough for Koenig to investigate further.

Koenig is an exceptional journalist with the most incredible voice. Each podcast discusses a different element of the case as well as interviews with Syed and other key figures. I won’t ruin the story for you (describing it as a story doesn’t sit comfortable with me, but I’m not sure how else to describe the flow of the podcast) but definitely try the first episode when you have time as I’m sure you’ll be hooked.

As for me, I’m waiting with baited breath for season two of Serial and a whole new story to learn about.

Have you listened to the Serial podcast? Would love to know your thoughts.

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Image: Corey Blaz