Roman Malanke

Commuting as Anticipated Activity

Average person who uses public transport in Kyiv spends about 1.5 hours a day commuting using subway, buses, trolleybuses, trams, and fixed-run taxis. If you multiply that number by the number of working days you’ll get about 33 hours per month, which is more than 4 working days. A couple of years ago I started to analyze what typical person does while commuting and based on that started to adjust my habits to get as much value of these hours as possible. To keep this post brief I’ll just list the most important things I’ve come up with and subsequently stuck to:

1. Be prepared to commuting as though it’s some important ritual. For example I decide what I’m gonna read or listen to while in transport before leaving home. For me it’s the same routine as deciding what to wear. And, of course, you never go out without clothes, do you?

2. While in transport always wear headphones either playing music or podcast or audiobook. If you read a paper book, music will help to isolate outside noises and avoid distractions.

3. Don’t be indiscriminate consumer of advertisements. This is really a problem in Kyiv. If you take subway coaches and look at their inside walls you’ll see them stuffed with low-quality ad prints (I mean quality of content of course, not printing). And 80% of people spend all their time watching around and carefully reading what new gimmicks are being offered. When I see this I remember citation of B. S. Prabhupada, who told: “People are deceived just because they want to be”. Value your time.

4. Doing nothing or relaxing in transport is 100% negative choice, because unwillingly you’ll start to listen to what other people talk about, which is almost always complaining or any other junk for the brain. Also you may start peering at the advertisements which isn’t good either.

And here are some of the results I’ve achieved just by applying these rules:

1. Improved my English from intermediate to fluent, spending no money on courses or tutors.

2. Developed sustainable habit of reading at least one fiction and one non-fiction book in month without affecting any usual activities of my life.

3. Now I can sometimes catch myself on eagerly anticipating the time when I’ll need to dive underground and to have another self-development session.