Can Your Commute Make You Happier?
When you free associate the word "commute" you are probably more likely to think "long" than "marital happiness." But a recent study that is getting attention in the Harvard Business Review finds that couples that commute together are more likely to experience marital satisfaction that those that don't. Interesting stuff.
Still not everyone can commute with their significant other, but the study got us thinking: can our commute make us happier in other ways?
Making the Most of Commute Time
Try and take a "glass half full" view of your commute and view the time as an opportunity. The average American commutes almost 50 minutes a day, says the Census Bureau: use this time wisely and you may find yourself appreciating your travel time.
Get to that Book: Curling up with a great read is not for bedtime only. E-books make reading even the weightiest tome manageable on a commute. Join social networking site Goodreads.com for book recommendations from friends. Or collect useful articles in your e-reader for subway or train perusal. Car commuters, you can get in the action with audio books.
Advance Your Career: No time for networking? Use your commute time to fit critical networking time into your busy schedule. Update your LinkedIn profile; send networking e-mails to industry contacts and schedule future lunch and drinks dates with peers. Keep abreast of industry trends by reading useful articles or listening to podcasts. Car commuters, take advantage of your hands-free device to schedule calls with mentors and peers.
Scheme, Daydream: Downtime is a rare commodity. Make the most of the idle hour to let your mind wander. Keep a notebook handy or download a note-taking app on your smart phone to jot down any inspiration that strikes.
Unwind: Can't find time to get to that crossword puzzle? Squeeze in a nap? Download that new album and play it from start to finish? You're in luck - you're commute provides a window of time to devote to these small moments of Zen.