Trains are the public transport system’s black hole of time. By the time you've driven to the station, parked your car, waited for your train or bus, boarded and finally reached to your final destination, it seems like the day is nearly over.

According to ABC News, 9 out of 10 Australians spend over 90 minutes per day sitting on a train. This time is most likely spent burning through your data as you mindlessly scroll your news feed.

Avoid the risk of an inflated mobile bill by following these strategic tips to make the most out of your life on the tracks.

Planning is key

Prioritising time and not being late is the most essential part of successfully benefiting from the perils of public transport.

The best way to combat this is by making the best app investment of your life. TripView for Sydney and Melbourne commuters is the salvation of the train service. This $4.49 app* displays real-time timetable data on mobile phone devices and saves the daily trips you need to make. Nothing is simpler and provides better time-management than accessing an app that takes the stress out of this daily struggle.

Prioritise your data usage

For someone who spends their life’s precious moments sitting on a carriage with 60 other strangers, music is sometimes the only escape. Listening to your spotify playlist is all good and fun until your receive the astronomical bill from your excessive data usage. Saving your favourite Spotify songs on a WiFi network keeps you from burning those precious gigabytes.

Be Productive

Procrastination is the silent killer for most students striving to balance the plethora of activities in their everyday life. What better way to spend your minutes moving from station to station then catching up on textbook readings, completing assignments or just not leaving something to the last minute?

Overcoming this isn’t easy as we all know sometimes the seats on trains make the best places to have a quick nap. This is why all train trips should be broken up into blocks to increase motivation and decrease procrastination.

At first, take time to absorb the nature outside and boosting your cognitive energy before getting stuck into that mountain of books.

Finally, before running to the exits before the doors abruptly close on you, take time to mentally prepare and reflect for the busy day ahead. 

Set your Alarm

Sometimes a quiet carriage accompanied with the vibrations of a fast moving train is the perfect spot to boost some much-needed energy. Done carelessly, this activity threatens an individual with having their bags and valuables stolen, as well as missing their station. Nothing is worse than waking and realising that you are one hour past where you were meant to get off with a missing bag!  

Two handy tips can simply allow you to continue using a train as your moving daybed.

  1. Set your alarm at least two minutes before destination arrival.
  2. Purchase a keychain that you can link from your arm to your bag or simply interlock your arm with the straps. Chances are if someone attempts to grab your belongings you’ll be instantly woken up in time to go all karate kid on that thief.

Headphones are your best friend

Listening in on other people’s conversations is only fun for a second, but you soon realise that their life is probably as dull and uninteresting as yours. Being surrounded by complete strangers is like being stuck in a human zoo enclosure. You can observe so many types of personalities some of which are straight up crazy, which is where headphones come in.

These devices are the most essential part of any train trip, which is why it was left till last. Nothing is worse than leaving your house in a rush and forgetting the most essential technology in existence. No, it’s not your wallet or laptop. It is your headphones!

The biggest tip is to always keep a cheap pair at the bottom of your bag as a contingency plan (Tip: head to Daiso where you can pocket a decent pair for a rainy day at only $2.80). Getting your Spotify playlist to the highest degree of replay factor is all-good, but without your trusted pair of white wires it will have zero purpose.

It isn't difficult to follow these simple handy tips to maximise your seconds, minutes and even hours as you travel from point A to B.

*note do not waste your phone’s internal memory on the free version as it does not save your trips, which eliminates the purpose of aiding time management.