How to Make Your Commute More Enjoyable

By Nick Singer, Account Coordinator
Not another mundane morning commute! Jeez, that sounds way too close to Monday morning commute and I apologize for that…maybe I don’t, maybe I want you all to suffer with me…Like many of you I have to travel to get to work, but I think I’ve found the antidote!
When I first started working at LCI (around a year ago), I didn’t utilize my time properly on my commute; I would put my head down and play CandyCrush or whatever time wasting mobile game was on my phone at the time (Please understand that the point of this blog is not to sit here from a pseudo intellectual high ground and tell you that CandyCrush is bad, but there are things you can do to be a more informed person WHILE playing CandyCrush!)
Candy Crush
My mode of transportation is Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART), the Bay Area’s subway, followed by a 15 minute walk from the Civic Center BART station (past SF’s beautiful city hall) to LCI HQ. On average my commute is around one hour, giving me ample time to catch up on news and listen to my favorite podcasts.
Morning briefings are a lifesaver as they provide me with a snapshot of what is going on in the world, which helps me as a PR pro to come up with ideas later on in the week. I read the New York Times’ morning briefing via Twitter every morning during my commute, which takes around 5-10 minutes and always has a fun back story at the end. There are plenty of publications that put out morning briefings to bring you the latest national and international news, such as The Washington Posts’ Daily 202 newsletter, which is more focused on politics.
After reading the morning briefing, I am still barely awake, but aware enough to plug in and listen to a podcast… and let me tell ya, the lineup I have is definitely a motley crew. From Fresh Air with Terry Gross on WHYY Philadelphia (must be AWAKE for this or her lovely voice will lull you back to sleep) to The Vertical with Woj (In depth basketball analysis with current and former pro players), and from Bill Simmons’ The Ringer (a mix of pop culture and sports) to “Keeping it 1600” on Channel 33 with former director of speech-writing for Obama, Jon Favreau, and former senior advisor to Obama and current VP of communications and policy for GoFundMe, Dan Pfeiffer… I listen to it all.
Podcasts are a way for me to keep up with the subjects I like and to listen to quirky stories. I particularly enjoyed a recent podcast from Fresh Air, when HBO’s ‘Silicon Valley’ writer, Dan Lyons, talked about his experience in working at start ups at age 50 after being laid off from Newsweek.
I want to be clear in that I am not listing these things to say to those who read this blog “look at me, I am informed” – that type of mentality leads to this fantastic Portlandia sketch – but what I am getting at is that if you are in a hunk of metal as you go to and from work, whether it is driving, taking the bus or subway like me, try to make the most of it. Don’t just sit there and wait – be active, be bold, talk to the cute girl or boy sitting next to you, be informed about the world!
What are your favorite things to do during your commute? Leave a comment below or tweet me @nicksinger91.

15 thoughts on “How to Make Your Commute More Enjoyable

  1. Nick, great blog and love the gifs! Nice touch. I listen to NPR religiously on my commuter – or if I walk to work, I love peering at the beautiful architecture in SF’s Japantown. Cheers, David

  2. Curated news through Twitter is best for commutes . I do the following but not in order – catch up on breakfast, emails, news via soc media and listen to music,

  3. Wow! I did not know Jon Favreau wrote Obama’s speeches in addition to directing some of my favorite movies like Iron Man and Chef! On my commutes I listen to This American Life and I have also been trying to get through the second season of Serial, but I just don’t find it as interesting as the first season. I stumbled upon this post looking for Broad City GIFs to send in text messages to my cat, but the suggestions I found will help me make good use of time that would otherwise be wasted!

  4. Thanks for the podcast suggestions. I’m excited to download them for tomorrow’s commute.

  5. Definitely checking out “keeping it 1600”, nick. Those seem like interesting guests, thanks for the recommendations!

  6. Great post, Nick. Other good news sources include Huffington Post’s daily news brief, which pulls content from several other sites, including WSJ, NY Times, etc. I’m also a big fan of NPR and the podcast 99% Invisible with Roman Mars.

  7. Great blog post Nick! I used to waste my morning commutes as well (sleeping on the bus!), but now I utilize this vital time to read about current news in my industry. If I’m lucky enough to get a seat, I can also crank out some early emails to ensure my international teams receive updates before they leave the office. I’m starting to view BART as my office away from the office! Lovin it!

  8. Nick — I had the same experience using the D.C. metro! Podcasts and tip-sheets are a great way to remain productive during a morning commute. Suggest for all of you out in CA to read Carla Marinucci’s new CA Political Playbook.

  9. Great read.
    Definitely some good ideas for us younger professionals who view the transition from college to waking up at 7am to travel to our office jobs. Hopefully, in future blog posts you can also cover a wider range of topics such as staying fit while working in an office. I personally do a hundred pushups a day at my desk, not including my feeder workouts before bed.

  10. Great blog, Nick! I have not started listening to podcasts during my commute, but I have been wanting to, and now I have a great list to start with. I drive, so I can’t read or do emails during my commute. I find, believe it or not, I often enjoy some of the only quiet, “unplugged” time I get all day when I’m driving. I also spend a lot of my commute time catching up on personal phone calls (don’t worry, I use Bluetooth!). It’s a great way to stay connected to friends in an otherwise busy schedule!

  11. Great blog, thanks Nick. I’ve never listened to a podcast before – usually I’m too busy doing pull-ups on the BART handrails or pretending I didn’t just spill my coffee on unsuspecting riders. I’ll check out “Keeping it 1600”, sounds dope. See you at Rockridge!

  12. My name is Nick Burke – we’re both named Nick! – and I am an accountant. Accounting can get a little boring, we just carry the one and count other people’s money. These hip podcasts will really liven up my day! Thanks Nick 2!

  13. For me, paying attention to the traffic around me usually works best. And listening to the morning news — or morning sports talk if I’m already up-to-date on the world’s happenings.

  14. Hi Nick, NPR helps me wake up each and every morning – catching up on the day’s headlines is as much a part of my daily routine as showering is…can’t live without it. I also scan the headlines from BBC and CNN as I’m heading into work, as well. And then, of course, I can through all of my Google News Alerts to see what kind of stories have broken on the many topics I follow. — David C.

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