Why Your Commute is Not a Waste of Time

Man commuting to work

Many people dread the daily commute to work. They find it time consuming and boring, but we are here to tell you that commuting to work can be valuable and fun!

The average American commutes 200 hours (NINE DAYS!) per year. That’s enough time to fly around the world 4 times! So, why not turn those 9 days into something worthwhile?

First and foremost, implement this pro-tip: leave early. From the 8 Daily Habits of Naturally Productive People, we know that leaving early yields a better sense of calmness. Leaving late results in rushing, which directly increases stress. Giving yourself extra time by leaving early gives you time to breathe,  grab a coffee, or cushion time spent in unpredictable traffic.

Below, we’ve detailed 8 productive and exciting things to do on your commute to work.

1. Invest in Some You Time

Use this time for yourself. Everyone needs something different during their “you time.” Acknowledge what you need at that moment when you hop into the car.

Take a breath. Meditate. Reflect through your thoughts and spend a moment being grateful. Before or after work, taking a moment to do this will really benefit you in the long run.

Brainstorm and plan. Plan for the future, plan for the now, simply just plan! Daydream about your next vacation, your dreams, or the sweet treat you’re craving.

Make some goals. Check in that you are meeting your current goals while also setting some future goals. These goals can be career oriented goals, personal goals, or relationship goals. Goal setting increases motivation, organizes your thoughts, and creates long term visions.

Get list happy. Create a checklist. Make a to-do list. Lists are great for remembering things and organizing thoughts. Facilitated list making can be done through some awesome voice-activated productivity apps! Use productivity apps like ToDoist, Wunderlist, or Evernote to enhance your time in the car. Technology is making it too easy to spend our time wisely!

2. Tune into Podcasts

Spend some time learning. There are so many podcasts out there covering so many interests. You have your bases covered for whatever you want to learn about. Podcasts offer it all, whether that’s listening to a fun story or learning something new!

3. Discover Music

Listen to music and enjoy your alone time. Whether that be the radio or music apps like Spotify or Apple Music, the world offers a seemingly endless selection of music. Use your commute to discover tunes, both old and new. Jam out and sing in the car! Let go and have fun with it. This is your time, don’t let your commute be something dreadful that you have to do; make your commute something you look forward to.

4. Lose Yourself in Audiobooks

Train your mind and invest in a good audiobook. Listening to an interesting novel will make the time in the car go by quickly, while also working your brain.

5. Make Connections

Another productive way to spend your commuting time is by establishing and creating better or more frequent relationships. Give your mom a hands-free call on Bluetooth, make it a ritual to call her at a certain time to check in! She wants to hear from you, don’t forget that!

Sometimes the best forms of self-care and personal development are nurturing relationships. Show the people you care about that you care by giving them a call!

6. Learn a Language

Invest in a CD, app, or podcast that teaches you a language. Learning a language challenges your brain and opens you up to new job opportunities. What better way to spend your time than by learning a new skill to show off!

7. Exercise

You read that right! Surprisingly enough, there are many exercises you can do in the car to target all sorts of body parts. The Hearst Newspaper details isometric exercises you can do in your car ranging from abdominal targeted breathing exercises to seated muscle building glute movements.

8. Take a Free Class

The digital world offers free and discounted college-level classes that you can take. Apps like Coursera and Udemy offer courses in a variety of subject matters. Skills and knowledge gained through free courses can make your resume significantly more appealing to recruiters. Invest your time in being a lifelong learner and you will always succeed.

Enjoy the Commute!

There are so many ways to use your commute time wisely. The way you choose to use it is independent to you and your needs. However, we suggest taking this time worthwhile by investing in yourself. Take the time and effort to focus on personal development. Invest in yourself and your wellbeing. The commute to work should be something you look forward to. Use these productivity tips to generate a positive daily experience. Commuting is valuable!