The average employee spends at least an hour a day commuting – almost 11 whole days each year! Many people let this time go to waste, but the best and the brightest know that making the most of these bookends can help you to increase your productivity and get more done. To help you get ahead here are our top tips for making the most of your commute.
Know the limitations
Before you can accurately plan how to get the most from your commute you have to accept that there are going to be limitations – for instance if you take the underground you’re not necessarily going to have WiFi access. Once you’ve accepted these limitations you can plan around them. If you’re not going to be able to get online bring some reading you need to catch up on.
Plan for the day ahead
Using your commuting time to schedule the upcoming day means the moment you enter the office you have a plan of how the rest of your day is going to go. The simple act of making a plan can reduce the stress many suffer from when they enter the office, as well as offer you a measure of control on how you approach the day’s events. If you don’t want to make a plan then even just setting your daily goals is a fantastic way to enter your workspace with a clear idea of what you’re going to accomplish.
You can also use this time to get the jump on any tasks you’d normally do when entering the office. Check your emails, respond to meeting requests, and prioritising your to-do list.
This certainly isn’t a revolutionary idea – reading is probably the most popular commuting activity, but have you thought about what you spend your time reading? Don’t just read whatever is handed to you on the way, set up your sources of information so you’re keeping yourself informed from the moment you leave the house. Have you considered setting up a news aggregator or checking if your favourite information sources have apps?
If you drive in or just don’t like reading on the move then you have a variety of audio options. Setting up podcast playlists can be a great way to get specific insights on a range of subjects, while e-books can get you caught up on any literature you haven’t had a chance to take in. Finally don’t forget you can always listen to the news itself, either through the radio or specific apps.
Even if you don’t feel like planning, reading or listening on your commute you can still fortify your mind for the day ahead by making sure you’re not stressing yourself out. Simple relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, closing your eyes & focusing your mind can better prepare you to face a stressful day.
If you struggle with stress or relaxation the Headspace app can be a great tool to get your mind to where you need it to be while you’re on the go.
Your commute is a chance to see and hear things from completely outside your normal spheres of influence. If you’re struggling with a creative idea, keep your eyes and ears open – you never know what could end up inspiring you.
Cycle or walk
One of the best ways to set yourself up for the day is exercise, waking up your mind and getting the endorphins & adrenalin pumping. While this isn’t an option for everyone those that can should consider walking or cycling. If you can’t travel this way for your whole journey it’s worth considering if you can break up your commute with a refreshing stint in the fresh air.
What are your commuting hacks to ease or aid the journey into work?
Share your tips below in the comments.