If you’re like one of the thousands of people who have a long commute to work on trains or buses, you may be wondering how to create a product work commute. There’s such a good opportunity for effective commuting time, because the commute time to work doesn’t have to be wasted time. A productive work commute could be getting work done that you usually don’t have time for once you get to your office or preparing yourself for a more effective workday. We have put together a list of ways that you can make your commute time a productive work commute and get more done before you’ve even started your work day.

Here are some ideas. Keep these in mind and pick the best ones for you depending on if you are on the train, bus or someone else is driving and even the options for you while you are driving. Here are the Eight ways to maximize your commute time to work.

1. Create a to-do list

Creating a to-do list first thing will give you a sense that you’ve already accomplished something. Using your commute to plan your day ahead will give you a chance to prioritize your tasks for the day and set realistic goals for yourself. Use apps like Evernote or Wunderlist or if you prefer a more old-school way of organizing things nothing beats writing your list using old-fashioned pen and paper. Using your commute time to write a plan for the day will mean that you already know what your priorities are when you arrive and you won’t end up rushing around doing many things that aren’t the highest priority or wasting work time getting off to a slow start trying to figure out where to focus.

2. Check your emails

With the age of 4G and smartphones, we can be online anywhere in the world. So use your time commuting to check your emails before you get into the office. Sometimes when we get into the office we can be bombarded with so many other things to do that we forget to reply to important emails or we end up with a backlog of emails that we normally end up replying to at five pm on a Friday. Use your commute to work to get caught up on all your emails so you don’t end up trying to sort it throughout the day.

Use the commute time to get organized too. Use this time to sort your emails into categories or days of the week to represent when you will work on those emails. Set up rules to remove junk mail or some other needed organization to manage your daily distractions.

3. Read

Reading is something that grows your knowledge base, that gets you thinking in new ways, an opportunity to learn from someone else’s experience. It expands your vocabulary, your knowledge and it’s fun to escape from reality every once in a while!

However, reading is something a lot of us don’t get the time to do. Usually, we end up trying to read before we go to bed and end up nodding off halfway through the second page. We just don’t make the time for this important way to expand our mind or needed escape.

If there’s a book you’ve been meaning to read for ages, why not use your commute time as a good time to catch up on your reading list? If you are in the car, get the audio version. I am a huge fan of getting to my book list with my commute time using Audible.

4. Learn a new language

Your commute can be a great time to learn a new language. Perhaps you’ve booked a holiday somewhere that you’ve never been before and want to make sure that you can get by in a foreign country, or perhaps it’s something you’ve always wanted to do but don’t have the time. With apps like Duolingo, you can use your commute to brush up on your French, Spanish – whatever you want, on the go!

Again if you are in the car, get the audio version and make the best use of your commute. Learning a language is a great way to expand your brain function by stimulating memory, improve listening skills and create some excitement around new future ventures.

5. Social Media

This is not an option while driving-but as a passenger or on the bus-this could be the perfect time.

Yes, social media may not actually be considered productive, but the urge to check out Facebook, Twitter or Instagram can sometimes get in the way of work and we end up wasting our working hours scrolling through these pages. If you use your commute time to get your fill of social media sites then you will be less likely to check on them throughout the day, leaving you with more productive time later on and allow you to focus on family, friends and other projects when you get home. It’s sort of a non-productive way to be more productive for the rest of the day.

6. Reflect

Commute time is a great time to think about what is important to get done, what is working well and what needs improvement. Commute time is a perfect time to set an intention. Whether you are headed into work or leaving work you have an opportunity to be purposeful about your actions and activities and create the experience you want for the next part of your day. This can create greater focus, greater connection to the purposeful use of that time and help you avoid distractions before they arise. Often, people tend to blow off reflection because they “don’t have the time”. Commute time is the perfect time for such activities.

7. Exercise

How do you do that, you are thinking. Actually, if you live close by-why not ride your bike and get your commute in and get some exercise. This is a great way to be in a great working state of mind when you arrive. Invest in an electric bike if you are a bit further away so you get the exercise but don’t want to get too sweaty. Also, keep in mind, many companies have a shower so start thinking outside the box, rather than making excuses.

8. Relax

Sometimes what we really need is downtime. This could be a great time for deep breathing that can be done while driving or not driving. Listen to your favorite music and shift your mood and mindset on a time to wind down and recharge.

Maybe you weren’t looking for a more productive commute time, but now you are more conscious and have some great way to create more effective commuting time. Commute time can be considered a waste of time but now you know how to make more effective commuting time.

You have many options, the key is that you choose it intentionally versus just passing the time. Purposeful use of your time will get you your desired result for your commute time to work and commute time from work. So re-evaluate your commute time.

Feature Image: Stock photo

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