By: Jessi Daly
According to the Washington Post, the average American will spend about 225 hours commuting for the year. That’s a lot of hours going to waste (if you’re doing them wrong). Sure, spacing out, gazing out the bus window for who knows how long, can be relaxing sometimes, right? But with only 24 hours in a single day, how can we make the most of our bus, subway, and car rides to work?
Several years ago when I was bouncing around Connecticut and NYC for work, every day was a lesson in (attempting) to learn the train/subway system. Not only did I eventually (somewhat) learn which subway goes where, but I learned how to make the most of my time waiting for my stop. If you want to make the most out of your daily commute, listen up!
Learn a new skill: Study time! Spending ten minutes per day on learning something new is investing in yourself in a great way.
Plan your day’s tasks/objectives: The best way to make sure you get everything done, is to write it down. Use this time to hold yourself accountable for making your day productive. Having your list already set and ready to go by the time you get to work is a great way to start the day off solid.
Do some mindfulness/meditation practices: Plugging in some headphones and focusing on relaxing right before a big work day is sure to aid in your success for your upcoming schedule.
Plan your meals/shopping list for the week: Some of the best ways to spend those extra few minutes is planning ahead. Plan your meals all out for the week, it’ll be a fun task and one less thing you have to do later.
Start a journal: Journaling is one of the best ways to relax and debrief. Journal about your work day when you’re on your way back home so you can go home refreshed and ready for a relaxing evening.
For those of you who must endure the brutal and frustrating pains of “driving” in rush hour traffic, you can still find creative ways to be productive even if you’re focusing on the road ahead of you:
Podcasts. Podcasts. Podcasts: There’s a podcast for everything and everyone! Not to mention, they’re a great way to wake up. Nothing gets the brain goin’ in the morning like a cup of coffee and a murder mystery story, right?
Again, mindfulness practice: You don’t necessarily have to plug in, close your eyes, and zone out to meditate. There’s a ton of articles on how you can practice mindfulness just by being aware of your surroundings and feeling everything around you.
Ditching the car all together: If you’re commute isn’t too far away, consider walking or biking! It’s a great way to get some exercise before the work day and really open up your mind and brain.
There are infinite ways to boost your productivity and/or get your mind in the right place for having a successful work day. With a little creativity and accountability, you have the power to set yourself up for a productive day, and unwind from one!