We’ve all heard horror stories about the tedious boredom involved with commuting via public transportation. Whether if it’s a 2 hour bus ride or 20 minutes on the subway there is absolutely no reason you should be bored during your commute. With a little planning and the right tools you can use this time to make yourself a better person and actually start the day off productive.

1. Learn a New Language

It doesn’t matter what language it is, studies have shown that knowing multiple languages will improve your mental health. This could also become something you can add to your resume if you become fluent enough in the language. While there are a lot of free options out there that you can use on your commute, there is also some very thorough paid software available. You can find the reviews of them all here.

2. Break Out the Old Game Boy

While there are plenty of emulators and new technology that put the Game Boy’s graphics to shame, there’s just something nostalgic about getting your hands on one. Using the Game Boy during your commute will decrease the amount of battery you’re draining on your phone, which you will likely need during the work day. As a bonus, if you’re riding with a friend there are several games you can play together – most notably a Tetris challenge to see who can clear 30 lines the fastest. The rules to Battle Tetris can be found here.

3. Plan Out Weekly Menus

Your commute is the perfect time to plan out your weekly menus or the types of food that you want to cook. It’s also a great time to learn new cooking techniques. Research and create a list of your favorite food blogs or Youtube channels and visit them daily. Cooking is a skill that doesn’t come naturally but it can be learned. Just because you’ve been known to burn the pizza rolls doesn’t mean you can’t become a world class cook for your friends.

4. Learn a Programming Language

You might need your laptop for this one, but it’s a skill that could be invaluable to your career. There are also several options for free that can help you learn the skill. You don’t have to possess a beautiful mind to write code, you just need a drive and the will to do it. Here are some great resources to get started.

5. Check Out Some Lectures

There are plenty of lectures online for free that could spark your interests. You could also discover new interests that you never thought you had. From astronomy, to biology, there are thousands of free courses out there waiting for you.

6. Read a Book

A real book with pages and all. Imagine that?! In a world of iPads and Kindles, people often forget the feel of handling and flipping the pages on a physical book. If this becomes habit it will also give you a good reason to visit the library more frequently or stroll the isles of your local bookstore – something you can’t do by just clicking “Buy It Now”.

7. Learn to Knit

You can knit really anything you want while riding the bus or train. It is a nice hobby that will give you a great gift at the end. You can find tons of free knitting patterns on Pinterest.

8. Create Your To-Do List

Morning is the perfect time to create your to-do list for the day. Not only does creating a to-do list keep you focused during the day, it also gives you a sense of accomplishment when you complete that last task. Apps such as Wunderlist and Evernote will allow you to create your lists and sync them with the rest of your devices throughout the day.

9. Learn to Conquer the Rubix Cube

We’ve all had one and, more than likely, we all put it to the side after realizing we would never solve it. Well, your commute is the perfect time to practice how to solve it. After you learn to solve it, you can use your new skill to impress friends or even start competing in Rubix Cube time trials. Here is an article detailing the easiest way to solve the Rubix Cube.

10. Find New Music to Follow

It can be a new Pandora station or Spotify’s “Discover Weekly” but new music is something that will never bore you. There are countless artists you can discover and follow just by listening to one new song and then researching the artist. You’ll also have something to talk about in the future, especially if you have other friends that are deeply involved in the music scene.

Featured photo credit: Gameboy Color / Wen Zeng via flickr.com

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