Time is money. And that definitely includes your time spent on trains, planes, or automobiles.
Having spent two years commuting 45-minutes each way (with a minimum 10-hour shift in the middle – yay salary exempt life), I know a thing or two about maximizing the time spent in a car. This is a syndicated article that I wrote for Career Contessa. Enjoy!
Does it feel like a complete waste when you have to spend your valuable time commuting to and from work? Well, maybe not. Let’s examine seven ways you can make the most of your commute home after a long day at the office.
1. CHECK IN WITH YOURSELF
Take some time to focus on your breathing and de-stress after work. If you’re heading home by train, pull out your work journal and take some notes about the day. Or check your to-do list.
2. ACTUALLY OBSERVE THE WORLD AROUND YOU
It’s hard to reset once you’ve hit full creative burnout. Take advantage of your commute to shut off work and switch up your thought processes. Disconnecting yourself from the radio and your phone and take in the world around you. A little time with nothing but your thoughts and the road ahead of you might be all you need to breakthrough on an idea/problem that has been stumping you at work.
3. CATCH UP ON PHONE CALLS
A solid 30+ minutes of nothing but driving is a great time to finally call M + D back or touch base with your old college roommate like you have been meaning to for weeks. It’s also a great time to schedule a recurring monthly call with your mentor or with a hold-me-accountable friend, i.e. a friend who knows your career goals and can check in to see how you’re progressing.
We’re surrounded by interesting people, and you have zero idea what they do or who they know.
4. STEP UP YOUR GAME
Get a competitive edge at the workplace by spending your commute listening to a podcast about your respective field. This is a great way to keep your knowledge up to date, so pull up some NPR or a TED Talk and soak in some knowledge as you drive.
5. GET CONNECTED
For the commuters that take public transportation, take a moment to finally watch that SNL skit everyone at the office has been laughing over or simply get caught up on the latest episode of House of Cards. Yes, it’s fluffy but it’s also a key way that you can bond better with your coworkers. And bonding is key.
6. NETWORK IT UP
Here is another tip for the public transportation commuters: strike up a conversation with the person next to you about the book they are reading. We’re surrounded by interesting people, and you have zero idea what they do or who they know. Networking doesn’t have to be as formalized as we tend to make it. So take a second to learn a little about them and to exchange LinkedIn profiles or business cards.
7. CATCH SOME ZZZS
Real talk: you’ve had a long day and sometimes 15 minutes of some shuteye is just what you need in order to make it through that 7PM spin class. Put on your sunnies and relax, just make sure to put a timer on your phone so you don’t miss your stop!
There you have it: seven easy ways to make the most of your commute home. Whether it is tackling a part of your to-do list, learning something new, or just taking a moment for yourself, these tips will have you feeling like the most productive woman on the road.
What do you do maximize your time while commuting home? Let us know below.