Do you feel like your commute is a waste of time? For many of us, the work week doesn’t just cover our 40 hours at work but also the time it takes us to get there and back. The minutes we spend waiting for the train, in different forms of transportation and even walking to the office don’t all have to be wasted. Take advantage of them!
Make note of the following tips that can change your way of seeing the daily trips that eat up several hours of your time each week. Ten minutes on foot, nearly an hour on the bus… no matter how long or short your commute to work is, you can make the most of the time.
Make a To-Day list
Organizing your day is essential for doing your best and getting the most out of the day. Take advantage of your travel time to make a list of the things you have to do and to prioritize your tasks. You can write them down on paper or use applications; most of these will be able to synchronize your mobile device and your computer, and they’ll let you monitor what you’re getting done, as well as deadlines. Evernote is a good example of one such application, and time-management courses like Triskelion will show you how to put these techniques into practice. Are you a driver and do you want to use the time you spend moving from one traffic light to the next? You can use the free Dragon Dictation application to dictate the note you would otherwise write.
Clean out your inbox
Imagine getting to the office and having your e-mail inbox clean. What a time-saver! It’s not a question of starting work early but rather of eliminating the trash e-mails that land in our inbox and waste our time first thing in the morning, precisely the period when we’re at our most productive.
Define your goals
Reviewing long-term goals is necessary for orienting our actions. Make the most of those minutes you have in the morning on the way to work to review your goals regularly and ensure that the actions you’re taking to reach them are on target. Besides getting yourself up to date, it’s a good way to keep yourself motivated.
Listen to a podcast or read a book
If you’d rather not be looking at a screen all the time while you’re on the road, you have the option of listening to a podcast or an audio-book, or you can makes lists with your favorite audio files. Reading is also a good way to make the trip more enjoyable and productive, whether it’s a good book or documents from the office that you need to look over.
Browse: blogs, news, social networks
Get up to date with some reading you’ve been putting off; the road to work is the perfect time to read your favorite blog or the day’s news before starting the workday. If social networks are a temptation for you during working hours, take the chance now to give them a quick look and you’ll avoid distracting yourself later, because you already know that the first hour is the most productive one for working.
Listen to music, play a game on your Smartphone or tablet during your commute to work. And, why not, talk on the phone. On the way to work we can take the opportunity to return a phone call or even contact a family member. It may be early, but people appreciate knowing that you remember them and, besides, it will make the ride more enjoyable.
Set up your meetings
Before getting to the office, you can dedicate a few minutes to setting up the meetings and conference calls you want to hold during the workday. Remember that scheduling meetings for first thing in the morning isn’t a good idea, but it is a good time to notify people ahead of time so they can plan better. Use applications like Brilliant Meeting to invite the attendees.
What do you do to make the most of your commute?