Feel like times spent sitting in trains and buses are time wasted? Does long travelling time put you off? Then this article is for you!
Long travel times very often feel like time wasted, just sitting in a train, staring at your phone and mindlessly playing games or scrolling through the internet just to kill some time.
Fortunately that's not the case, as travel times can be made invigorating and productive. For this article I'll share some things you can do while traveling to make good use of it.
1) Reading Time
Time spent sitting on or waiting for trains is a great opportunity for reading. Very often when I have to go somewhere, I'll always carry a book with me. It's actually surprising most of my reading time comes from traveling in trains, and how many books I've read on buses and trains.
Naturally being on a public transport is not an ideal conducive environment to get any studying done. So keep reading light and informal.
This is why I usually reserve light reading on public transport, and save the deeper studying session that requires full concentration when I get home.
Not too sure what to read? Then check out The Nerd's Bookshelf for some awesome book recommendations!
Alternatively, audiobooks are a great way to spend your time travelling, as they require less concentration and easier to do.
Simply download an audiobook app on your phone, plug in headphones and you're good to go. Contrast this to reading a book, where you have to find a spot to sit down and try to concentrate.
Another thing I love about audiobooks is that you can listen to them while walking and doing other chores, which will be highly impractical for reading a book.
For audiobooks, I find that listening to them, as I usually listen to non-fiction, it's hard to retain the information, so don't expect 100% retention for it. I usually listen to an audiobook to get a rough idea of the book's content, then get the actual physical copy and read it in more detail.
Travelling times can also be a used to do reflection, a highly underrated study technique. Reflection can be done by simply thinking about the things we've learned, which is a very powerful way to solidly learning and deepen understanding.
How do we do reflection? There's no one rigid way to do it, as reflection is simply looking back and thinking through the things you've learned. Some helpful questions to ask when reflecting are 'Why is the concept I've learned the way it is?', 'Seeing the bigger picture, how is this concept related to other concepts?', 'How can I relate to the real world and apply it to the real world?' and 'Is there other ways to understand it?'.
By sitting in buses or walking, we can use the time to reflect on the things we've learned, to think about them, to gain a deeper understanding of the things we have learned, and to see the bigger picture.
Just be careful when reflecting too deeply not to miss your stop and walk into poles.
Had a rough and stressful day? Feeling really stressed out and overwhelmed?
Then travelling time can be used to just relax and calm yourself down. There are many ways to relax, and different people will do it different, but the two main ways I relax while sitting in trains are:
5) Mindfulness Practice
While travelling, it can also be great time to practice a bit of mindfulness by simply being clearing your thoughts and being present to the moment.
To be present to the moment; stop thinking about the past and the future, and just focus on the things around you. Take a minute and enjoy the scenery out the window, listen mindfully without judgement to the sound of the engine, embrace the emotions you're feeling, and be aware of the surrounding. This is a form of mindful meditation that can be done anywhere, anytime.
Practicing mindful meditation is a great way to relax and energise yourself. Usually being self-absorbed into our own thoughts and dwelling too much in the past and future can be draining to our mental energy. Not only is doing so tiring, it can be detrimental to our health.
There are numerous benefits in practicing mindfulness frequently, some of them includes:
If you're interested in mindfulness, I'd highly recommend reading more into it, and I'll be writing about mindfulness in the blog from time to time so stay tuned!
So there you have it, 5 ways to make good use of travel time, start doing them and you'll be pleasantly surprise that sitting on trains aren't such a bad thing after all!