In a jet-set world where you’re constantly wishing you had more than 24 hours in a day, certain daily activities simply challenge our patience. Like buffering on a super short Facebook video, and commuting to and from your workplace. Both make us helplessly watch precious minutes from our life waste away. While the former is not really in your control if you aren’t Mark Zuckerberg, there are lots of ways in which you can make the latter situation better.
If you wake up in the morning all fresh and energized and, with some help from that motivational podcast, pumped to take on the day, only to find your energy and sense of productivity lagging because you have to endure an hour long (or longer for some) journey before you can even start working, listen up! You can make those hours productive too. Here’s how:
7 Ways to Use Your Long Commute Time Productively
1. Look into Carpooling or Using Public Transportation
This might sound counter-productive to saving time instead of driving to work by yourself, but those extra few minutes spent on carpooling actually helps you utilize the whole chunk of commuting time better for the productive hacks mentioned here. Plus, you get to network with people from different fields and contribute to the environment by saving fuel. Use apps like Waze Carpool and Uber pool for a hassle-free service.
2. Use The Time to Sort Out Your Thoughts
Usually, our mornings are a blur of rushed activities. Getting dressed, getting the kids dressed, meal prep, etc. – there’s hardly any time to pause and breathe. Use the time spent commuting to gather your scattered thoughts so you can start the day with a centralized focus. You can also plan out minute details regarding the project you’ve been working on, or any hustle you might be engaged in (shout out to the over-achieving go-getters of the world!). Take the time to deliberate about things often helps create solutions to complicated problems you might be dealing with for some time.
3. Plan The Day Ahead
With your thoughts and ideas sorted (or if you’re already the sorted-out type), you can now move on to plan the day before you start it. Almost all successful people in this world start their day with a clear plan in mind and on their workbooks because it helps them get more done within the day. Isn’t that what’s productivity all about? Doing this on the commute helps you get straight to work when you reach the office. Use apps like Evernote to make to-do lists and to keep journals. You can also use its voice note option to dictate your tasks into it if you’re driving or riding.
4. Listen to Self-Improvement Podcasts and Audiobooks
It’s ideal to start a day on a positive note to get the maximum productivity out of yourself. If you haven’t already done this after waking up in the morning, now is a good time. Listening to audiobooks is, of course, not the only option for people walking, driving, or riding to work. However, drivers should be extra cautious even when listening to audiobooks.
5. Preplan the Phone Calls That You Can Make During Your Commute
Get casual and regular phone calls to friends and family out of the way during this time of the day. It will be a task off the to-do list for the day, however insignificant it might be. You can also set up a telephonic meeting at this time, but make sure you’re not in a very noisy place.
6. Schedule an Online Course
Take your commuting productivity to the next level by taking an online course. However, this only works for those who spend a good amount of uninterrupted time on the move, because you really need to be attentive or you won’t learn anything at all. Taking a half-hour class each day for a month can teach you a new skill!
7. Learn a New Language
If an online course sounds too ambitious to you, learning a language is a much simpler alternative. Knowing more than one language is, for many jobs, important and helpful if you’re a travel junkie (which most of us seem to be these days). Duolingo is a very efficient app that takes you from zero to sixty in simple and easy-to-master techniques.
Alternatively, you can also use this time to do things that make you feel guilty of doing because they eat into your work hours, like social media or makeup tutorials by your favorite Youtuber. Remember, time is valuable only when you add value to it.
of Maryland. Now living in Los Angeles, CA and loves it. When she is not writing code, she writes about fashion at her blog The Hi Fashion Site. Her other passions include art, history, running, yoga and the beach:)