Riding the bus used to be my favorite time of the day. I drive a car now due to distance but in the old days I would spend at least an hour on a bus everyday. It was during this time that I got a lot of my deep thinking done. Here are some suggestions for you.
10 of the best things to do on the bus when going to work
Honestly I feel like I got some of my best sleep ever on the bus. The bumps and the groan of the engine put me to sleep like a little baby. Just wrap your coat or jumper up in a ball and put it between your head and the window. Perfect. Don’t miss your stop though!
2. Make new friends (good looking ones!)
Quite often people on the bus are real ass holes. They sit there and don’t say anything and when they do it is usually an insult. However, when you make the effort to talk to someone you can usually make a good friend. This is especially true if you catch the bus home at the same time everyday.
I’ll give you an example. There was this girl that caught the bus home from University with me everyday at the same time. One day she sat next to me and I decided it would be a good time to talk to her. We hit it off so well and are now really good friends. Recently I saw her waiting at the bus stop with a coffee. I was running late and missed our usual bus and she had waited for me so we could catch the next one together. Now that’s a good friendship – all because of a bus ride.
3. Read philosophy
I used to do most of my buddhist and western philosophy reading on the bus. The reason for this is that the bus has a special “spiritual” quality about it. It is 30 or 40 people packed in together going to a job they hate or back home after a big day at that job. No one really talks. They just travel. I find it quite interesting to read philosophy and ponder the nature of the bus!
However, you don’t want anything too heavy for the bus because it is often hard to focus with all the noise. Some light/short reading is good.
Some books that I would highly recommend for some bus philosophy are:
- The Autobiography of Tibet’s Greatest Yogi; Milarepa
- the Tao de Ching
- Old Path White Clouds
- The Miracle of Mindfulness
- The Art of Happiness
- The Monk and the Philosopher
If you have an hour on the bus where you have nothing to do you may as well get started on your daily meditation.
Meditation is the best way to relax yourself, develop intelligence and increase your happiness. It will help you deal with the stresses of work and at the end of the day it will help you wind down after that stressful day.
The best meditation for the bus is one where you focus on the breath. All you do is sit up straight and place your hands on your knees. Keep your eyes slightly open and slightly downward. Start to become aware of the breath coming in and out of your nose. Don’t try to slow it down, just notice it. Start counting each round of breath. A round is one inhale and one exhale. Count to ten and then start again. A buddhist master once also told me that this can fix some minor health problems.
5. Read the newspaper
Something else that is worthwhile doing is grabbing a paper and catching up on what has been happening in the world overnight. I used to grab my paper at lunch time and then read it on the bus on the way home. If there has been any important news like a terror attack you might be a few hours behind but usually it is okay.
6. Listen to podcasts
There are plenty of good podcasts that can help you in your daily life. You can listen to them on the bus so that you are ready and excited about the day ahead. We are going to start doing some work related podcasts soon here at The Daily Mind. Subscribe to our feed so you don’t miss out when they are released.
In university I did all my reading on the bus. I hardly ever did homework at home, it was always done on the bus on the way to the class. Not the smartest idea but it worked for me. Try to plan ahead what you are going to read and get started on it right away so you don’t waste any time.
8. Look out the window
There is something very relaxing about watching people go by outside the bus window. You get to see so much of your city and things are always changing and taking on different shapes. Sometimes looking out the window is also a good idea for people who get car sick as it is supposed to prevent you feeling like you are in a moving vehicle.
9. Do nothing
One of the hardest things to do for us westerners is “nothing”. I am not talking about being lazy or being asleep. I am talking about taking time to do nothing. Fixed time for nothing is very important and is a wonderful way to de-stress, slow down and increases your happiness. A day set aside for doing “nothing” is not a day wasted.
10. Write your goals for the day
Something we talk about a lot here at The Daily Mind is writing down your goals. Once you write down a goal and give it a timeline it becomes something we can achieve. Doing it on the bus is a great way to set the tone and mood for your day.
The great thing about doing things on the bus is that it feel like you are getting time for free as you are doing something on the way to work. Its almost like someone is driving you to work while you do something more important. Make good use of the time.