There are few things more dread-inducing than the prospect of staring down a packed tube platform full of stressed out and aggressive commuters at eight in the morning or, even worse, getting gridlocked in that notorious London traffic.
The intense crowds, frequent breakdowns and that wonderful quirk of the Tube wherein it has zero air conditioning or ventilation can make your morning commute feel like a battle march.
Not to worry, though; with a few simple steps you'll soon be bossing that commute like a pro and the stress will soon feel like a distant memory.
Here's how to survive London in rush hour.
Know the Rules of the Game
Anyone who has been in London for more than five seconds will know that there is a Byzantine etiquette system comprising of dozens of rules that must be followed in order to avoid the ire of your fellow passengers.
Most of these rules are honestly just a combination of noise, urban myths and personal preferences, so definitely don't spend too much time getting worked up over whether your platform posture in on point.
As long as you know the few simple essentials, your trip will go more smoothly.
These are; keep your Oyster card ready and in-hand the second you enter the station, stick to the right on the escalators, don't talk loudly and, most importantly, never make eye contact with your fellow commuters.
Come Prepared with Distractions
Chances are you'll be dealing with the same commute every day, to the point where you could travel the whole route with your eyes closed.
This kind of commuter autopilot is common, with the positive side being that you should be able to zone out and immerse yourself in less stressful activities during your journey – just remember to keep your wits about you on station platforms and road crossings!
A good online game is always the ideal way to get through the journey, ideally something engaging like a puzzle game or online escapade.
For example, there are now lots of roulette games online, from European to American, that you'll be able to play at any point during your commute when you need to zone out, thanks to that sweet and brand new Tube WiFi.
Your commute is also valuable time in your day that you can use to catch up on things you've been neglecting.
So, read that novel that has been gathering dust, finish that podcast, or simply burn through your emails.
Mix It Up
A morning commute doesn't have to be something to just get through, to be banished to the annals of memory and not thought about until 5 pm. You can actually enjoy it. The best way to do this is by occasionally mixing things up.
Explore your city by walking part of the journey, which might involve having to get out of bed a few minutes earlier but is definitely worthwhile in such a beautiful and varied city as London.
Even just going via a different bus route might feel like a refreshing and pleasant surprise, as seeing your city as new again will remind you why you moved here in the first place.