There’s no denying that early mornings are rough. Between living off-campus and morning work shifts, the days of sleeping in as long as possible are far gone. Getting used to this change has been quite the adjustment in my college schedule, as I’ve needed to change a lot of things about my morning routine. Over time, however, I’ve surprised myself by finding ways that not only make my early morning commute easier to survive (and give me extra time to sleep) but make it enjoyable, as well!
So to help you survive and conquer your morning commute, here are 5 essential early morning commuter tips:
1. Go To Bed Early
This tip is a common one, but it doesn’t make it any less true. After all, a good night’s rest will you focus better while at work or in class. Plus, the last thing you want is to be a drowsy driver, which can possibly cause an accident!
After all, even without the commute, getting up early is hard enough without adding a lack of sleep to the mix. So do yourself a favor and turn off your phone and TV and get those extra hours of sleep. Your body will thank you later!
2. Have Your Purse and Backpack Ready the Night Before
Imagine this: you’re about to head out the door for work or school with just enough time to make it there without being late. As you grab your bag, you look inside to make sure that the big project you’re presenting today is in there, only to realize…it isn’t. Suddenly, it’s a mad scramble to search for the missing project, taking up precious minutes of your morning and making you late to the presentation…again.
So to avoid any mishaps and tardiness, a big essential of surviving early morning commuter life is the have your purse and backpack ready the night before, including your wallet, textbooks, lunch, projects, homework, and anything else you might need. This way, all you have to do is grab it and go the next morning…without worrying that the big project isn’t in there.
3. Leave Early
This was always a hard one for me, as those extra few minutes of sleep were awfully tempting. However, one of the best ways to survive your early morning commute is to leave early.
You never know when there might be bad traffic, weather, a road closure, or even just a slow driver that will make your commute longer than normal.
Plus, there are plenty of benefits of arriving early, even if it’s just by a few minutes, such as it:
- Shows initiative
- Is less stress (from worrying about being late)
- (Possibly) a better parking spot
- Extra time to study before class
- A few minutes to read
Even just leaving 5 minutes early can make a big difference in your morning commute and can save you from so much stress in the long run!
4. Make the Car Ride Enjoyable
One of the biggest struggles of an early morning commute is the car ride, especially if you get stuck in traffic. Suddenly, a 20 minute drive down the highway turns into a 45 minute stop-and-go situation with people trying to honk and push their way through the crowd. It’s stressful, annoying, and time-consuming.
However, instead of dreading your morning commute and the time wasted as you drive to work or school, turn it into something enjoyable!
There are plenty of easy ways to enjoy your commute while staying safe on the road. Here are just a few of them:
- Listen to audiobooks or a podcast
- Get informed about the latest news on the radio
- Jam to your favorite music playlist
- Learn a new language (such as by listening to a language podcasts!)
There are so many different ways to enjoy your commute, even if you do get stuck in traffic. In fact, my commute has actually become something that I look forward to because it gives me the opportunity to listen to my favorite audiobooks and podcasts! Either way, find something that will make your commute enjoyable for you and it will improve your view of your daily routine!
5. Plan Your Outfit Early
One of the biggest morning struggles is figuring out what to wear. This happens all too often, both for college students, working teens, and adults. After all, how often have you went to get ready, only to realize that the uniform/blouse/pants you needed for today were in the dirty laundry? Or that you can’t find your shoes? Or that you can’t find the back to your earrings? Not only is this stressful, but trying to figure out an alternative outfit or find the missing items can take up precious time, possibly causing you to be late.
This is why one of the most essential tips to survive early morning commuter life is to plan your outfit the night before. And when I say “plan”, I don’t mean just think about it; go to your closet and pull out each piece you’ll be wearing, everything from your shirt to your shoes to your jewelry, and have it set out so that it’s easy to change into in the morning.
Just this simple task can save you so much time and stress every morning and it’s so easy to implement. In fact, not spending that 5-10 minutes frantically trying to find your socks and shoes every morning means a few extra minutes you can sleep!
Final Thoughts on How to Conquer Early Morning Commuter Life
Transitioning to early morning commuter life is definitely an adjustment, and creating a successful morning routine can feel even harder. However, by planning and preparing everything the night before, you’re sure to not only survive your early morning commute, but begin to enjoy it (or at least not adamantly hate it), as well!
What are your tips for surviving early morning commuter life?