8 Tips to Maximize Your Commute (So You Can Enjoy Every Minute of Summer)

Introvert Whisperer

Despite what sitcoms, friends and the people in your daily life want you to believe, commuting can be good for you!

It’s not a total waste of time, and it shouldn’t be a time to feel stressed and unhappy. Whether it’s on the train, in your car or even on your bike, there are many ways to make the most of your time spent commuting.

Turn your daily commute from a frustrating, boring ride into a time of day where you can unwind, think clearly and be yourself! Here are eight tips to hack your commute:

Reflect/Unwind

Do you have a mental list of goals you’d like to accomplish? Sort through which ones need to be addressed for the day during your commute. If an area of your life needs improvement, decide how you’ll tackle it when you’re walking, sitting on the train or driving to work.

Your commute can also be your time for rest and relaxation. Allow yourself some time to just chill out for a bit. You need to reenergize so you’ll be ready to face the next day!

Start Your Workday Early

Long day full of emails, calls and meetings ahead? If so, give yourself a head start by clocking in before you even reach the office. Answer some emails, make some calls and spend time thinking about your role in the meeting. If you have a presentation, this is the perfect time to rehearse!

But maybe your day doesn’t stop there. Dinner reservations, office parties or a night with the kids may await you. Your commute is the perfect time to decide what you’ll wear to the party or where to take your kids.

Learn Something!

Why just stare out the window when you can stimulate your brain? There’s an endless amount of information out there, which means there’s always something new to learn.

You can read some college course materials online, and The Great Courses can be your starting point. You can learn a new language with a quick and fun app like Duolingo, or you can start with something as simple as reading up on your favorite musician on Wikipedia.

Power Nap

It depends on your commute, but if you can catch a few minutes of shuteye, it will benefit you. Power naps give you an energy boost. 10-15 minutes is all it takes to have a positive impact on your body, leaving you feeling reenergized.

Unconvinced? Here’s everything you need to know about why naps are awesome.

Listen

Your favorite band just dropped their new album last night and you HAVE to hear it, front to back. Your friend recently told you to listen to an up-and-coming artist. Use your commute to fully soak in an amazing album or find your latest musical obsession.

Not really feeling music on your way to and from work? Audiobooks are still around! Snuggle up with a good book and a soothing voice reading it to you.

Read

It might be annoying to have someone talking in your ear. You’d rather imagine what you’re reading in your own voice. So head to your local library and pick up some good old-fashioned books or magazines.

Of course, technology can come to the rescue, too: An e-reader or your phone works just as well.

Get Your Social Media Fix Over With

It’s not necessarily a wise idea to be updating your status or posting a tweet while you’re on the job. Temporarily suppress your urge to be a social butterfly by browsing your social media on your commute.

Respond to those notifications and check your news feeds now — there will always be a brand new set of updates to look forward to when you clock out.

Be Inspired!

Maybe you have a passion or a hobby that sort of gets stifled by work. Luckily, the things you see and hear on your commute can give you that much-needed spark of creativity.

Check out what other people around you are doing. Pay attention to the sights and sounds of your surroundings. They can be the subject of your new poem, song, story or any other creative outlet you practice.

Take Your Time

We’ve all rushed around the house, searching for our lost keys, sunglasses or some other small object. When you’re in a rush, you’re more likely to be stressed and unhappy. Commuting during less-than-ideal times, like rush hour or long-distance drives, can spike your blood pressure!

Leaving early puts you in control. You have time to stop for coffee, take a more scenic route to work or catch up on some reading or social media. If you plan ahead before you leave, you’ll feel more calm and relaxed on your commute and throughout the day.

Sarah Landrum is a business and career writer with a background in Marketing and Economics. Her blog, Punched Clocks, helps professionals find happiness and success in life and at work. Be sure to subscribe to her newsletter and follow her on social media for more great tips!

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  • Dow Escalante

    Great insight! Thank you!

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