Are you part of the majority of the world's population who commute to work every day? According to the U.S Census Bureau, the average American worker spends 26.9 minutes commuting to work every day.
And even as more and more employers around the world are adopting work-from-home policies and flexible schedules, commuting times don't show any signs of decreasing in duration.
While some of us may have shorter commutes, most of us usually have to travel long distances to reach our offices. But let's face it, we all spend a big chunk of time commuting to and from work daily, and it is usually not a pleasant experience.
With the increasing number of vehicles and subsequent traffic congestion, our daily commutes are getting longer, making them feel more like tedious chores than anything else. But, there are ways you could utilize the time and make your dull and long commute an interesting and productive one.
Productively spending your commute can help you get into the work mindset and help you become more focused at work. It can also avoid the stress associated with prolonged and tiring commutes and help you become happier in your job and life in general.
Here are ten ways you can make your daily commute to work a productive one -
1. Map out your day.
If you don't drive to work on your own, utilize the time of your commute to plan out your day. Make a to-do list of the tasks you have to accomplish. Creating a to-do-list will help you to break up significant and extensive tasks into small and manageable tasks. Also, it will enable you to prioritize your tasks and focus your time and effort to accomplish them.
You can jot down your to-do list on a notepad or use an app to create it. Just remember to keep your tasks realistic and straightforward.
2. Read a book.
Reading books is one of the best ways to reduce stress and learn something new while doing so. Whether you're reading a motivational autobiography or a science fiction novel, reading helps improve productivity and stimulates the mind. Also, it helps hone our writing skills and expands our vocabulary.
Carry an inspirational book along with you every day if you travel to work by public transport, or if you drive to work, then there are lots of audiobooks that you can download and listen to during your commute.
3. Listen to a podcast.
Podcasts are educational and motivational content that can help you find a source of inspiration for your day at work. And it doesn't matter if you drive to work or take public transportation, you can quite easily listen to a podcast by playing it on your phone or your car's stereo.
There are podcasts available for everyone's interest, and you can easily find one that suits your liking. Listening to one can significantly increase your productivity and also keep your mood uplifted for the rest of the day.
4. Take an online class.
Do you want to learn something new but don't have the time to do so in your hectic lives? Your daily commute can provide you the time you need to expand your skills.
Use your commute to take an online class that can help you to improve your knowledge on things and maybe rise through the ranks of your corporation. There are lots of types to choose from that provide live verbal instructions or recorded lectures, which you can listen to while commuting.
5. Get updated with the news.
Nowadays, social media has become one of the primary sources of news, but the news on social media is, in most instances, highly inaccurate and adulterated. And even though the popularity of newspapers and radio is decreasing because of social media, they are still more unbiased and reliable sources of news.
Your commute can be an excellent opportunity for you to get updated on the latest news happening around you by reading the newspaper or listening to the radio. Doing so will help you attain a real sense of understanding of what is going on around you.
6. Reflect on yourself.
Use your commute for sitting back and reflecting on the things in your life that might need some change or improvement. A study has shown that people who used their commute to reflect on their days were happier and more productive than people who didn't.
Evaluating aspects of your life like your physical and spiritual wellbeing and taking steps to improve them can significantly benefit you in your work.
7. Ease up your workload.
You can use your daily commute to finish up pending work or to get a head start on your day at work. It can help you ease your workload so that you don't feel pressured at work.
For example, if you are a blogger, you could research the next article you're going to write. Or, if you are an HR executive, you could go through unchecked emails and reply to them. You can also review the work you've done on the previous day and make sure there are no errors.
Working on your commute will give you an upper hand among your colleagues and help you complete your tasks faster, giving you more leisure time.
Long and tedious commutes can affect mental wellbeing and increase stress levels. This increased stress can create serious health problems if left unchecked.
Meditating during your daily commute can significantly help reduce stress and increase focus and motivation. It is also a great way to clear mental clutter and start every day with a fresh perspective of things.
There are many apps and videos available that can help you meditate. So, give meditation a try and see the benefits for yourself.
9. Get some sleep.
If you feel fatigued, unproductive, or stressed at work, then it might be because you are not getting enough sleep.
A short power nap during your commute can do wonders to increase your energy levels and increase your productivity at work. Sleeping through your commute might not sound like a productive way to spend it, but it will significantly improve your productivity throughout the day.
Do note that sleeping is only advised for people who use public transit. If you drive or cycle to work , then you should avoid this tip altogether!
Our lives are becoming increasingly busy, and we rarely get enough time to relax and unwind. With heavy workloads and demands, finding time to relax can seem a daunting task. However, relaxation is essential as being stressed can significantly affect our productivity and our decision-making abilities.
You can use the time of your commute to relax a little. Play your favorite song to accompany your commute or take deep breaths and enjoy the scenery. Do anything which relaxes you and helps reduce stress.
Remember to keep your electronic devices aside so that you don't have notifications popping up to distract you now and then.
Use these ways to make your commute to work a productive one that you can look forward to every day.