Make Your Commute More Productive

Make your morning commute more productive (Photo: gui jun peng/Shutterstock)

If your commute into work every day feels like a huge drain on your time, it’s time to do something to change how you approach your trek into work and back home. Rather than it being merely a twice daily opportunity to experience road rage, use that time into doing something productive.

Use your commute as get-fit time

Depending on how long your commute is, if it’s within a reasonable distance, consider ditching your car and making getting to and from work as your way to fit in your daily physical activity. Bike into the office instead (or if you can’t do so in the morning and after work — perhaps you have an important meeting you need to look sharp for) then just opt to do it for one of your daily commutes. If you’re a runner, bring a set of gear to change into and leave your office clothes in your office and pound the pavement to get yourself home.

Exercise your brain

Your grey matter needs stimulation to work it out, too, just like your body does. Play Soduku or complete a crosswork when you’re taking the subway. Work your way through all of those books you have stacked on your bedside table if you take transit into the office.

Reward yourself with some “me time”

Whether you’re behind the wheel of your car or taking bus, subway or commuter train, rather than just twiddle your thumbs as you slowly make your way home, take this as an opportunity to indulge in something for you, whether that’s listening to your favourite music, podcast or audiobook. If you’re using public transit, closing your eyes and practicing some deep breathing can help calm and centre you. If you prefer to tune out and just relax a bit by watching your favourite TV shows, download and catch up on your must-see TV on your smartphone or tablet.

Get more work done

When you’ve got an enormous amount of work on your plate, sometimes you’re going to have to work at every moment you can. Reply to emails and crack open that laptop if you’re on a commuter train home. Dictate emails (you can use Siri on the iPhone to do so, for example), if you’re driving (while keeping your attention on the road, of course).

Catch up with friends

You’ll change how you view your commute if you use it as a time to catch up with friends. We all get busy and there never seems to be enough hours in the day to keep in touch with friends and family. Perhaps you have a neighbour you never can find time to hang out with; if you work near each other, carpool in together occasionally. If you drive solo, use that time to chat with friends using a headset, or just call or have a conversation over text if you take public transit. Your commute then becomes a fun, sociable time rather than just time you waste getting from home to the office.

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