Sooner or later, everyone wants to change their life in some way. It doesn’t matter if it’s the start of a New Year or smack in the middle of a current one. Everyone feels the need to reboot and revitalize at some point.
You could be in a rut and just need to shake things up. Maybe you want to finally get back in shape, want to achieve something, or transform your way of thinking. Whatever the time of year, life circumstances, or your situation, you can do it. And no matter what your ultimate goal is, organizing your morning commute can be the game-changer you need.
The connection may not seem obvious, but read on and you’ll see it.
“If you win the morning, you win the day.”
Love him or hate him, Tim Ferriss has been a fountain of side-hustle philosophy, self-improvement life hacks, and personal productivity tips for achieving goals for more than a decade. So if there’s anyone who knows what it takes to change your life for the better (and get it to stick), it’s him.
In a video on photographer Chase Jarvis’s YouTube channel discussing his book Tools of Titans, Ferriss distilled a few of the top lessons from the 200 successful people he interviewed and profiled in the book into a single sentence: “If you win the morning, you win the day.” Ferriss’s point was that a proactive morning routine is a foundation for a fulfilling and productive day.
And since there’s nothing more habitual than commuting to work, why not turn it into the cornerstone for changing your life?
Plan your commute to align with your goals
You’ve probably heard “alignment” or “aligning goals” thrown about in boring work meetings that made your eyes glass over and your mind wander. But it’s actually a helpful idea that can be applied to your personal life.
According to an article in the Harvard Business Review, strategic alignment (or just alignment) is when “all elements of a business — including the market strategy and the way the company itself is organized — are arranged in such a way as to best support the fulfilment of its long-term purpose.” The concept can help companies pivot to new ventures, as well as trim unnecessary fat. They have to look at every task by every department and ensure it’s done in a way that matches their long-term purpose.
If you think of the goals you want to achieve as your own “long-term purpose”, you can apply “alignment” to your morning commute. Want to read more? Start bringing a book to read on the train (or audiobook if you don’t take public transit). Want to be more mindful? Use the time commuting to meditate, on your own, or with the help from an app. Want to get fit? Start running or cycling to work.
And here’s the important part: after a while, what you do in your morning commute to align with your goals will start bleeding into other parts of your life. You’ll want to read more of that book when you get home, feel the pull of a mindful meditation break in the middle of the day, and crave to go for a run or bike ride on the weekend.
But first, you need to make that new morning commute stick.
Keep it simple and don’t overthink it
Once you understand what you want to incorporate into your morning commute to align it with your goals, you’ll need to get organized. But you should do it in the least complicated way possible.
The most common mistake people make when they organize or plan something new is to go overboard. Many people, excited and overestimating their future self, will draw up overly complex plans and set out to do too much. That will only make things harder and likely prevent a new habit or routine from sticking.
If you get a dozen books to read, you’ll hit a wall picking which one to read first. If you plan out an intense or extra-long route to maximize your running or cycling workout, it’ll feel too daunting to try and start in the early morning. Any little bit of resistance can be just enough to kill a new habit or routine.
But if you organize your commute with the new habit in a simple and basic way, almost too easy, you’ll likely keep doing it and build on it.
Use the right packing solution
The difference between organizing a morning commute and organizing a morning routine at home is that the former is on the move. Yeah, pretty obvious, right? But that means you need to organize for that. The key is to find the right packing solution for your needs and your commute. It’s an essential part of helping you stick to it.
If you’re organizing your commute to run or bike to work, it’s all about your options once you get to the office. If you can wash up or shower and keep your clothes there, you may just need a running wallet. If it’s a casual atmosphere that lets you wear a t-shirt and jeans, a packing organizer bag or packing cube may be all you need in your running or cycle bag.
But if you have to dress professionally, you should get a packing organizer that keeps your clothes wrinkle-free in your bag as you run or bike