Everyday people waste countless hours sitting in a car in traffic on their way to and from work. Much of this time is spent on the phone or listening to music. But it could be spent on self improvement or even a side hustle. Here are 7 solid ways to stay productive when faced with a long commute.
Audio books and podcasts
Reading is a great way to improve oneself and sharpen the mind. Audiobooks are great for long drives and long commutes. Distilled Dollar even had a recent post on the 4 Money Benefits from any Gym. One of the benefits that he brought up was the ability to multitask by working out and listening to audiobooks. It is a great way to build your body and your mind.
Audio books and podcasts are a great way to learn without having to occupy your hands and flip pages. It is also incredibly easy to load hundreds of them onto a single device. You don’t necesarily have to make them work related either. After a long day of work you don’t want the commute home to feel like an extension of your workday so pick something fun and interesting.
Stay productive while working on a side hustle
For those who take trains or other forms of public transit there is plenty of time to work on something big. If you have a device tor write on you can write a blog. If you have internet connection you can build a website.
I like to take this time to read other blogs and industry news on my profession. It is incredibly important to stay sharp and up to date on business topics. This way I can take the time that would normally be spent listening to music to better my understanding of my profession. You never know when this might give you a competitive advantage.
Plan your day and week
What better time to get ahead on your appointments and scheduling than when you are stuck commuting. If spending a little time planning ahead can reduce the headaches that will come up later in the week it is completely worth it.
Just because you are sitting on the train doesn’t mean you can’t stay organized. I love when I finally have enough downtime to organize all the random files that pop up on my desktop over the course of a project. A little organization goes a long way in reducing stress.
This one is for those who bike or walk to work. At my last job I had coworkers that would bike over an hour to work a few days a week. It not only was better for the environment, it was a great way for them to exercise and train for their hobby. If you can turn your commute into a way to stay healthy than you are can get the most out of your time. You might even be able to give up that gym membership.
A few years back when I lived in a bigger city I walked to work every day no matter what. It was great except for those handful of times where mother nature thought it was necessary to give me my second shower of the morning. Walking a mile and a half to and from work not only got me into great shape but was almost peaceful having time to just take in everything around me.
Network and socialize
Maybe I’m just weird but I love passing time on planes by talking with the people around me. It is amazing how often you find people with interesting stories or backgrounds. You never know when you are actually speaking to a potential client. I have had coworkers who have actually brought in deals from conversations that they had while commuting.
On you next flight or train ride try to strike up a conversation with the person next to you. Worst case it doesn’t go well and you never have to talk to them again.
How often do you really get time that is not dedicated to something. Whether it be work or side projects it is not a bad idea to give yourself an intentional break every once in a while. Grant over at Millennial Money has a great article titled “Chill as hard as you hustle”. I like to take time to disconnect from my cell phone and social media and just relax every once in a while. It keeps me from going crazy in our fast paced world.
Besides you never know what you will think of when you start to relax. It could be a great new idea.