Personal Growth

Tired of the daily commute?

Personal Growth - January 2015

'Lifehacks' for travel - make the most of your commmuting time

Commuting can seem like such a waste of time with growing traffic congestion on our roads and offices moving to more affordable – yet – remote locations.  But turning redundant time into one of the most productive periods of your day is now a real possibility with these innovative travel tips to simplify your daily journey.


1.      Build your own library

You know how it goes – you have five minutes in your day to browse your favourite news site and read some key articles, then you get interrupted. Next time you log on, they’re gone. Opportunity lost? Not necessarily.

  • There are some great apps out there – such as Instapaper – that allow you to save web pages on your mobile device, which can be accessed later, regardless of whether you have Wi-Fi.
  • If you want to be a little more creative and actually spend the time designing your own stories, check out the Story app. You can take your own videos and photos, add text, themes and music and then quickly and easily share them with friends and family.

2.      Bank, bills and budget

What better time to get on top of your finances?

  • Manage your money on the go with mobile tools such as goMoney, which allows you to pay anyone, transfer money between accounts and pay bills.
  • If you’re in the market for a new mortgage, loan, insurance or pension plan, use this time to compare what the market has to offer with comparison apps such as InfoChoice (Aus), Bankrate (US) and Deposits (Asia).
  • And finally, if your spending habits are a cause for concern, this quiet time could be the perfect opportunity to document your income and expenses – check out free apps such as Goodbudget and TrackMySpend.


3.      Turn the tables on tedious; become studious

At what other point in your day do you get an hour of quiet time –just to focus? Use this to your advantage and consider upskilling or studying.

  • iTunesU is a fantastic app that allows educational institutions to share their courses, resources, books and lectures as audio or video files. You can take notes that synchronise with the lecture, read assigned chapters in associated iBook textbooks and much more. If the institution has a public iTunesU site – such as Stanford and Oxford – the information is publicly available, at no cost!
  • If you’re more about ad-hoc learning, try podcasts. Most major universities such as the University of Melbourne upload their lecture podcasts, which you can access at any time.


4.      Train your brain as you’re on the…train

It’s amazing how many cognitive skills go untapped because we operate in the same way, on the same level, most days. Why not challenge your brain during the daily commute and get your cerebral juices flowing?

  • Massage your memory with leading apps such as Eidetic and Memory Trainer, while Brain Fitness Pro claims to increase intelligence, focus and short-term memory by more than 40 per cent in less than 20 days with just 30 minutes of daily training.
  • If critical thinking, problem solving and decision making are your Achilles’ heel, try the ‘Think-O-Meter’, and if you’d like a lighter brain-training approach, the Lumosity app has a wide range of activities and games to train your memory and attention.


5.      Ride it out

Why not use your commute time to meet your daily exercise quota? Imagine riding on your bike, bypassing the traffic jams. You may actually find your commute time isn’t that much longer.

  • If you’re worried about where to park your bike, many cities now offer bike park facilities where you can not only park your bike, but get a clean shower, store your cycling attire and have your bike repaired.
  • Alternatively, many cities offer free bicycle parking, such as CityRacks. If you’d prefer to take your bike with you, consider a folding bike.

Take advantage of your commute time to learn, organise and exercise with these simple life hacks.

Important note – The above lifehack provides general information only and is not advice.  ANZ makes no representation as to its accuracy, adequacy or completeness.