Long commute? You’re not alone. We’re in sunny Los Angeles, a city famous for its bumper to bumper congestion. But, we only have the 10th longest commute in the country. Sorry, NYC you win. Followed by Washington D.C. and San Francisco. The average commute time in the US is almost 27 minutes. Which means that there are a great number of us slogging it on the rails, roads or public transportation for more than an hour round trip every day. People admit that commuting is their least favorite activity.
But that doesn’t have to be wasted time. When you’re driving or on the bus/train/boat you take to work, take advantage of the time to set up your day for success. Or, unwind on the way home after a long and productive day.
7 Ways to Make the Most of Your Commute
Listen to a course, audiobook, or podcast
You’re never too old to learn. You can sneak in an hour of classroom-worthy content on your way to and from work. Maybe you have a new hobby or are interested in knowing more about an aspect of your industry. Or, you can use this time to learn actionable things to incorporate into your day, immediately. Download audiobooks or podcasts. Check out our top business podcast recommendations.
Read a business book
We have you covered on that front too! There are tons of great business books out there – but some are more useful than others. We’ve compiled a list of the best business books for personal and professional growth. Read up on
- Career Advancement
- Business Strategy
- Business Growth
- Financial Growth
- Adopting Positive Habits
- Overcoming Obstacles
But don’t just take our word for it. This list of “12 Books Every Business Person Must Read” is also a great place to start.
Create your To Do list
It’s much easier to tackle your day when your daily task list ready to go. Consider starting a bullet journal. Bullet Journal is a new way of combining a calendar, task list, and journal. A bullet journal can help you organize your thoughts in a meaningful way but that won’t take too much time. Use the book or the companion app to stay productive throughout the day.
Schedule Conference Calls
Get organized! What’s better than walking into the office with a few items already checked off your list? Booking conference calls and online meetings before you get to the office will help you feel accomplished.
Join a Conference Call
Some days start early and end late. Americans are working more hours than ever before. That means meetings with colleagues in earlier timezones may start before you get to the office. Or, if on an important deadline, a meeting may extend into your homebound commute. If you’re on public transit or walking outside, consider muting your line when you aren’t speaking so that outside noises don’t interfere with others on the call.
I recommend “safety first” for this one and only zen out if you are using public transportation or are the passenger in a rideshare or carpool.
Take time out of your day to improve your meditation practice. Meditation is proven to reduce stress and improve sleep, relationships, and health. Can you spend 5 minutes doing a guided meditation? Can you increase your time the more you practice? There are a number of apps that can walk you through meditation, regardless of your experience level. You may find yourself arriving at work or at home with a refreshed mindset.
Start a project or hobby unrelated to your day job
For the passenger commuters out there, if you’ve ever wanted to start a cooking blog or knit that sweater, now’s your chance. Spend the hour ride grappling with your ideas, writing, or planning your side hustle. You’ll be amazed at how much you can get done, and how fast the ride goes when you’re working on something you’re passionate about.
If you think the art of the written letter has been lost – we say, bring it back! Write a real letter to old friends and colleagues. Send postcards to your family. Taking the time to write a thoughtful note is very meaningful. The people in your life will certainly appreciate the gesture. Take the same tact at work and handwrite a positive review or a thank you to someone in the office.
With a positive POV about your commute, you can create days that start and end a little better. And who knows, you may end up looking forward to your commute time if you have something productive or engaging to do!