People hate commuting. Whether you’re inching along in traffic or avoiding eye contact with strangers on public transportation, your commute is something you’re resigned to tolerate—barely—as part of the daily grind. Ina 2004 study, Nobel laureate Daniel Kahneman and his team found that in a daily log of activities, the amount of happiness people reported while commuting is about on par with the joy of housework. More than half of Americans spend at least 40 minutes in their round-trip commute; the national average is 50 minutes, and some folks, who the Census Bureau call “megacommuters,” spend more than three hours on the road every day.
Until science invents teleportation, there are ways to make your commute suck less. And research suggests that multitasking can make your commute feel more worthwhile. An important first step is to consider how you want to use the time.
If you’re the organized type, try using your commute to plan what else you’re going to do that day—even if it sounds like overkill to make plans to plan your day. Simply checking items off of a to-do list, so the logic goes, requires a lot of decision-making, which tires you out before you even get started. Plus, scheduling tasks makes you more realistic about what you can accomplish in a day. If you take public transport, generate a list and schedule the tasks by using an app like Timeful (free), or a combination of synced tools like to-do list app Any.do (free) and its companion Cal(free).
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