In this day and age, having a job that still requires a daily commute can make you feel downright unlucky when so many of your friends and family members are able to work remotely (in their pajamas!). While being stuck in a car, or on a bus or subway can feel like a waste of time, it doesn’t have to be!
There are actually lots of ways that you can use your commute time wisely and productively. Here are some of our favorite commute activities:
If you are one of the few people who haven’t gotten on the podcast bandwagon, you’re missing out. Podcast audio can be streamed on pretty much any smartphone, making them a great option for your on-the-go needs. There are hundreds of thousands of shows that are available, and many are focused on education and self-help. So, whether you’re looking to optimize your finances, get some nutrition tips, or learn more about the issues being debated in parliament, you’ll find it in a podcast. The best part? They’re free!
For similar reasons, audiobooks are also a fantastic option for your commute time. Many libraries offer downloadable audiobooks, so you won’t go broke as you burn through one or two a week on your commute to and from work. It’s the perfect opportunity to learn something new. Alternate between a career or industry read and a fun, lighthearted book to keep things interesting.
Catch up with friends and family
Have you been avoiding returning your mother’s calls because you’re just too tired by the time you get home? How about you call mom bright and early, on your way to work before you get worn out from the day? In a world that’s increasingly dependent on text communication, sometimes it’s a welcomed change to hear a friend or family member’s voice. (If you’re driving, use a hands-free device and make sure your phone usage is in accordance with the distracted driving laws.)
No, please don’t pull out a pad of paper and start jotting down notes as you coast down the highway. Instead, download a dictation app to list and prioritize your to-dos. If you don’t mind spending some money, the Dragon Anywhere app works wonderfully. Otherwise, iPhone users can use Siri to dictate lists and notes, while Android users can use the Google Docs Voice Typing function, both of which also work well. Alternatively, if your commute is on public transportation, pull out a good, old-fashioned notebook and jot down those lists. When you arrive at your desk, you’ll know exactly what you need to tackle!
Quiet your mind
It can be hard to justify quiet time when you’re at home, but having a commute gives you the perfect opportunity to sit quietly with your thoughts. On the way to work, use the quiet to mentally prepare for your meetings and the day’s goals. On the way home, use the quiet time to transition from the work day to your home life so that you can give your loved ones the undivided attention that they deserve.
Your commute time doesn’t have to be lost time; use it productively and you’ll be able to make the most of your time both at work and at home.