How to Make the Most Out of Your Commute Time

Metro Manila is just one big transportation mess! Lines are long pretty much everywhere during the rush hour. Every morning from about 6 to 9:30 in the morning, the queue up to the MRT and LRT stations is a kilometer long! Taking the bus is not a viable option either. Unless you want your commute time to increase by 300%!

Really long lines at MRT North EDSA Station. Photo courtesy of Kit Cabullo

That’s probably not the kind of increase you want.

But here’s another piece of news that’s bound to draw a sigh and loathing: the MMDA told commuters to expect even heavier traffic in the Metro up to 2016! I didn’t realize there was still room for worse traffic. Aaargh!

For a lot of Pinoy yuppies, travel time usually lasts anywhere between 1-3 hours every single day!

Three hours of commute time per day is equal to 15 hours per working week and 32.5 days in a year!

That’s just terrible! A total of 32.5 days lost in unproductive, uncomfortable time!

Between your home and the office lie countless adventures and possible mishaps.

You wait for 30 minutes just to get a bus that’s not so full and willing to stop for you.
A bus conductor then shoves you into a sea of people in the aisle of the bus. But already, the people inside are like sardines packed inside a can.
You hurry to the MRT (Metro Rail Transit) and find out that the line is a kilometer long.
Then you have to walk past five blocks just to get to your office.
And on top of that, it’s hot and humid!
By the time you get to the office, you’re sweaty, feeling harassed and just about ready to flare up at your officemate, your friend, or whoever happens to be near!

Whew. If that’s your experience every morning, you should seriously consider moving to a boarding house near your office. It saves you the hassle of the commute and helps you be at the office fresh and, well… happy!

But if you’re unwilling to move out of your present residence, then try to leave earlier in the morning to save you the hassles of the friggin rush hour.

As you spend an hour or two on the commute, you can do something productive, too!

Listen to a podcast.

If you have an mp3 player, download some podcasts or audiobooks. Listen to these audio programs and enrich your mind. You may even help yourself learn new things for your work.

If you don’t know which podcast to listen to, I would recommend checking out the list of my recommended podcasts. The list is not exhaustive and could even be expanded. Of course, don’t forget to subscribe to my own podcast: the Happy Yuppie podcast.

Read a book.

If you’re just sitting down in the bus, or in the train, get a good book. Read a chapter on the way to work. Then, think about what you need to do to apply the knowledge you are learning from the book. We humans have a great power at our disposal – imagination. You can use that to put yourself in different situations and look at how you can make the most out of it. Speaking of books, do check out the books we review here.

Plan your day ahead.

Use your phone as your organizer. It doesn’t matter if it’s just a basic phone like an old Nokia model. It’s definitely better if you have an Android or iPhone app that can help you manage your schedule and your to-do list.

While you’re sitting inside the train, the FX, or the bus, list down tasks you need to do and how you will do them.

If you don’t make use of your commute time, you’ll be wasting years of life! Literally. So better start doing something now.

How else are you coping with the long commute time?

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