It might be one of the most exciting and innovative cities in the world. But London has earned a certain reputation for its commuting lifestyle, and for good reason too. The number of daily commuters travelling 2 hours or more has rocketed 20% in the last 5 years.
That’s over 900,000 London commuters every year. Not to mention it’s expected to rise in the next decade too.
So what can you do to make this journey a bit more enjoyable?
Okay, so the tube is rammed. You have a busy day ahead. And the guy behind you is standing so close you now know the entire back catalogue to Snow Patrol (we feel your pain).
Don’t worry, though. There’s a nice little solution directly accessible from your smartphone.
Mindfulness Daily is designed to help make stressful situations – whether it’s the morning commute or a big stakeholder meeting – easier to handle as time goes on. There’s breathing exercises, meditation guidance videos, and even TED talks.
What’s more, you can actually track your progress over time and focus on particular goals to suit you: like being more patient, kind or just finding time to relax.
You can even set push notifications at particular times during the day so you don’t forget.
How useful is that?
Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History
There’s a special place in our hearts for this epic podcast. Filled with fascinating tidbits, dramatic anecdotes, and a sweeping narrative that spans from Alexander to Churchill, Hardcore History isn’t for the faint hearted.
But don’t let that put you off. Carlin is down-to-earth and has a genuine love for this podcast, even if the topics are a bit gruelling at times (think the assassination of Caesar or the murderous court dramas of Ancient Persia).
What does this have to do with your London commute, you may ask?
This is fantastic storytelling and makes even the longest journey more enjoyable. The episodes tend to last between 3-4 hours too, so you can block them out and dive in at your leisure.
The only downside to this wonderful podcast, however, is that you’ll have to wait a couple of months between each new episode. There’s quite a bit of research involved, as he likes to remind us:
It’s difficult to be annoyed though.
Fancy learning a new language on your journey?
Duolingo is one of the world’s most popular tools for learning a new language quickly and with all the conversational skills that you didn’t really learn at school.
As you can probably tell, this app is a champion of gamification and has lots of different levels to work you up to fluency. You can even use Duolingo just to brush up on your skills.
We reckon if you spend around 10-20 minutes on this every day, you’d be prepared for your next summer holiday in no time.
Do you have any more tips on how to improve your London commute? Share your thoughts with us on Twitter.