There are lots of different ways to pass the time during the commute, with some people using it to catch up on social media and others preferring to get work emails out of the way. Dr Liron Jacobson, a neuroscientist based in London has suggested putting the ride to work to use in a different manner, however.
She told the Daily Mail that the commute is the perfect opportunity to exercise your brain. She is project manager at brain-training app Peak, which is beloved of A-list stars, such as Selena Gomez. Dr Jacobson suggested knitting or journaling as a great alternative to staring at a screen on the coach to and from work.
These are the neuroscientist’s top five activities for the commute:
Use the trip home to write about your day. Start by writing down the negative things that happened to clear them from your mind, then always try to add three positive occurrences. Add to this any micro-moments – these are small interactions with others that went well.
Doing this every day will help to develop memory, creativity and communication skills, all of which tend to be useful in a work environment.
Learn a new skill
Whether it is a new language or a qualification, most of us don’t have the time to fit a new skill into our lives, but commuting time could be put to good use for this. Download an app to your phone or follow an online course using the coach’s onboard Wi-Fi.
When you learn a new skill, it helps to strengthen the neural pathways in the brain, making it easier to understand new tasks in the future.
It’s OK not to be doing something every minute of every day, in fact, the brain needs this time to help make sense of things and keep you calm. Fight the urge to get out your phone and simply spend some time in the moment.
Reducing stress and anxiety is important for a productive day and you can always call on your mindfulness techniques in the workplace should you need them.
Practice a relaxing hobby
Knitting is the type of activity that does not require a huge amount of brain power and can easily be packed into your work bag. It can be as meditative as mindfulness and is good for those who find it hard to sit still.
Zoning out and relying on your muscle memory is another good way to reduce stress.
Brain training games
Ditch the social media scrolling and try a brain training app instead. They help you to use your head in ways you may not have done for a long time, with things like calculations and map navigation.
Training the brain like a muscle will help to boost its capabilities over time, which can always be applied at work.
Photo credit: iStock/kate_sept2004