Depending on which form of transport you prefer, the morning commute can take up a significant chunk of your day. Calculate how long it takes from when you walk out the door each morning until you return at night, and you might be surprised by how much time goes by—time that could be spent setting yourself up for a successful day. If you’re looking for ways to maximise your daily commute, we have some suggestions to ramp up your productivity.
Listen to a Podcast
Whether you’re driving, biking, walking, or catching public transport, podcasts are a great way to pass the time while you learn something new. There are so many on our Podcast Playlist that we are always spoiled for choice! Tune into #GirlBoss Radio with Nasty Gal founder Sophia Amoruso, who quizzes fellow world-class girl bosses for their career advice and lessons learned; Lena Dunham’s Women of the Hour chats to other inspiring femmes about friendship, love, work, and our bodies; if you’re into tech, then tap into Kara Swisher’s Recode Decode for conversations with some of Silicon Valley’s most exciting tech entrepreneurs and industry heads. There’s literally hundreds of podcasts to discover, and you’ll soon be addicted to them.
We all know that we need to be active each day for optimal health, but finding the time to squeeze in that 30 minutes of exercise each day can be challenging. For most of us, the 40-hour workweek is more like 50 or 60, which sees any kind of physical activity slip further down the list of priorities. So what if you swapped your usual car commute for a walk, bike, or run to work instead? You can double the productivity and listen to an inspiring podcast, audio book, or meeting notes as you go. You don’t have to do it every day, but see if you can change it up at least two to three times a week.
Learn Something New
There are so many new things we would love to learn if only we had the time. Well, the morning commute is the perfect opportunity to learn new skills or improve the ones you already have. Successful leaders never stop learning, so neither should you. There are plenty of great books on Audible.com that are like mini courses on business and tool kits for entrepreneurs – have a browse and find something that you’d like to learn to turn your commute into an opportunity for personal growth and development.
For some reason, some of my best ideas happen on my way to and from the office. Perhaps it’s because your brain is fresh in the morning or relaxed enough after you knock off to let the ideas flow. Either way, this is always when they happen for me, so I always keep a notebook or my phone handy to jot them all down. For the commuters who take public transport to work, buy a new notepad that’s just for this purpose so you can keep all your big ideas in one place. For those who drive or walk, you can use the recording feature on your phone and take verbal notes. Then you can build on them and use them as brainstorming tools each day.
For those who prefer to use the morning commute as a time to detox from work, how about trying a mindfulness app? Headspace is a fantastic app that can be used while you’re driving to help clear your mind of negative thoughts or stress and bring your attention back to the present moment. The app calls itself “a gym membership for your mind,” and we think that is accurate! But there are plenty of other great ways to practice mindfulness. If you’re taking public transport, and you have your hands free, you can keep a gratitude journal and write down the things you are thankful for each morning or night, or journaling is another great way to release built-up emotions and random thoughts.
Intro Photo Cred: Eva Chen