We’ve all been there. Getting up at a painfully early hour in the morning. Re-fuelling with a cup of what can only be described as sludge from some dodgy subway coffee machine. Searching the bus for an empty seat while fervently hoping your neighbour will not leer, smell strongly of dogs or keep up a tiring stream of inconsequential chatter. Or attempting to decipher the foreign headline of a newspaper over a well-dressed stranger’s shoulder while idly wondering if the elderly man dozing in the corner seat has missed his stop.
Sound familiar? Unless you’re one of the lucky few who drives – or, better still – walks to work, the everyday commute is probably very much part of your daily grind. And you’re definitely not alone. Statistics show that the average daily commute in many European countries can range anywhere between a reasonable 30 minutes to close – or even over – two hours. And that’s without counting the dragging minutes as you make your way back home, fighting drooping eyelids and rush-hour traffic.
Anyone with half a brain can guess that undergoing such amounts of arduous travelling can be stressful at the best of times. The more practical among us will point out the sheer uselessness of the time wasted while in transit – time which they undoubtedly could have put to a number of better uses. The nitpickers will likely demand some type of compensation for their travel expenses – but, though many companies do offer allowances for their commuting staff, the amount is usually practically negligible.
This gives rise to the following question: How exactly can you go about extracting true value from the hours you put into your daily commute? Idle pursuits, such as scrolling through your news feed or flipping through a magazine are all amusing ways to pass the time – but they hardly qualify as money-making schemes. Read on to find out five ways to turn all those wasted hours into cold, hard cash.
Take up content writing
Ever stopped to skim through a blog post with an eye-catching title? Or recommended an informative webpage to your friends? We have news for you – that content was created by someone with nothing but good writing skills, a computer and a little spare time on their hands. There are tons of freelance content writers who find that their little pastime earns them a handy bit of extra money – and, if you play your cards right, you can be one of them. So, next time you’re riding the bus to work, give the social media a rest and give your phone or tablet a more fruitful job to do. Most means of public transport offer free wi-fi so you can easily do your research over the internet, with easy access to features such as online thesauri. Invest in a couple of earplugs to block out the surrounding chatter, find a good seat and you’ll soon find your commute will seem that much shorter – and rewarding.
Write a book
If you have a way with words – why not go lengthier and write a book? Thousands of aspiring authors complain about never having the time to actually settle down and complete their first novel – but, with a little clever planning, your commute can turn out to be the answer to your prayers. You won’t even need a laptop – a tablet will more than suffice, especially if you use a clip-on keyboard – which has the double advantage of making you look exceptionally professional while discouraging others from approaching you. Windows 10 has plenty of nifty features perfect for the aspirant writer, while Microsoft Drive doesn’t even require an internet connection for you to edit a document, syncing with all your other devices automatically. With luck, you’ll be able to squeeze in at least 300 words a day – even more if you skip that takeaway espresso (you’ll type faster with two hands!).
Start an online shop
How long has it been since you caught up that old pair of knitting needles? Remember how much you liked embroidery as a kid? Modern technology makes mass production so easy that the value of handmade items has risen sharply in recent years. Dedicate your travelling time to your old hobby again and you might soon find yourself considerably richer. Whether you’re good at making personalised teddy bears from scratch, designing cards or making intricate ganutelle bouquets, you’ll find there’s very little you can’t do while on your way to work. After you’ve finished a product, you can use your commute time to complete the rather tedious task of uploading pictures and completing description and pricing details. Pinterest and Etsy are great places to start.
If you’ve got to number five, it means none of the above works for you. Worry not – we have a solution anyway – and it could be the best of the lot. You probably started reading this article because you’re not satisfied with how much you currently earn. Taking an online course is an ideal way to gain a qualification – one that may help you nab that promotion, get a better job or finally find your niche. And studying in transit means you won’t have to waste a minute of your precious spare time. Use your commute to finish assignments, read through your lecture notes or study for that upcoming exam. Who knows? You may be taking the tube elsewhere next year!
The world is your oyster and you can choose any of these options to start your remote work lifestyle. Why don’t you start by joining our team of writers at Topcontent? If your written skills are pretty much flawless, this could be a great opportunity for you to start your dream of making money on the go. Signing up is easy and you’ll be joining a great online community who are as passionate and serious as you are about breaking free from the 9 to 5 grind!