3 ways to have a life when you spend hours commuting daily

There are things you can do to do improve your off-hours when traveling to and from the office takes up too much of your time.

It’s easy to feel like you spend your entire life in the car, on a bus or on a train when it takes you hours to get to and from work each day. By the time you make it to where you’re going, your energy is all used up. Too bad you can’t use that feeling as an excuse when you make it work.

This can have wide-ranging effects, in fact, research has found that adding 20 minutes to your commute is like getting a 19% pay cut.

That being said, here are three ways to feel like you have a life when traveling to and from the office takes up too much of your time.

Be spontaneous about your plans every once in a while

Don’t wait until the weekend comes to make plans. Sure, you might be a social butterfly outside of work and your lengthy commute on those days, but you might miss out on something fun if you always wait until Saturday or Sunday.

So be the person who makes the plans for once.  The next time you have to decline an after-work event with friends or coworkers, make sure to come up with another idea for getting together in the near future. Then, invite everyone and see who can make it.

Work from home when you’re able to

This can open up some free time to work out in the morning or during a break from work, but the same goes for when you sign off for the day. Working from home can also free up an evening for dinner with friends and/or family during the week.

But don’t let your living space hold you back — organize your home, work area in a way that’ll boost your productivity.

If you have to wait until the weekend, make it a fun one

Weekends are for catching up on rest and running a bunch of errands, but if you can’t make weekday plans, you should give yourself something to look forward to when the work week is over. Do the heavy lifting early so you can do something else that you actually you enjoy.

So get back in touch with friends who you haven’t seen in a while. Show them that you’re still invested in the friendship you share. They’ll probably appreciate hearing from you. Plus, who knows? They may be feeling the same way, which is why you shouldn’t be afraid to take the initiative.

Doing something enjoyable on the weekend is another way to break up a monotonous, hectic week of commutes.

Jane Burnett|is a reporter for Ladders and can be reached at jburnett@theladders.com.