Women at Work: Tips for a Better Morning Commute

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Ah, morning commutes. How I love/hate you. On the one hand, you have to get to work. On the other, they can be chaotic, busy, and stressful depending on how you get there.

If you drive, there's traffic. If you take the bus or public transit, there's shuffling, overcrowded cars, and (most likely) people yelling in your direction. If you walk, you have to deal with all of the elements—all the time. If you take a car... well, that's pretty nice, to be honest.

But regardless of how you commute, we can all do a better job of taking advantage of that precious time in the morning.

Here are my tips for building a better commute:

one // prep

Before you leave in the morning, do a few things: 

  • Check the weather to make sure your outfit is right
  • Check your bag to make sure all of your must-haves (below!) are in tact
  • Make sure you're waking up early to give yourself plenty of time

two // always have a coat—and comfortable shoes

When I first moved to SF, I never brought a damn jacket with me. But the first time you're stranded in unreasonable heels and without a proper jacket, you realize you'll never make that mistake again. Always either wear comfortable shoes or bring them with you to change into—and make sure you also have a lightweight jacket with a hood at the very least.

three // have supplies on hand

Here are just a few things I always keep on hand for my commute:

  • Keys
  • Wallet
  • Extra chargers—phone, etc.
  • Quick snack—granola bar, carrot sticks, etc.
  • Full water bottle
  • Small toiletry kit, including: band aids, chapstick, hand sanitizer, screen wipes, hair tie, bobby pins, sunglasses, Tide to-go pen

four // wear a backpack

One-shoulder bags are terrible for your back, shoulders, and neck—it's time to invest in a backpack if you haven't already. I have Everlane's Mini Modern Zip Backpack and I love it, it has just enough room for my laptop and other essentials. I also love their Commuter Backpack.

five // invest in the right headphones

There's nothing worse than sitting on Bart with ear buds in and being able to hear every. single. sound. around you. I got these Beats headphones and they work wonders on both public transit and planes.

six // repeat after me: books, podcasts, music

Yes, your commute can be annoying at times, I'm sure. But it can also be a great way to catch up on your favorite podcasts, read something new, or listen to the latest album you've been dying to download.

what are your best morning commute tips? let me know in the comments section!