The average American spends over 25 minutes every day commuting to work. This could be walking, sitting in their car, or on a bus. Often times we regard this as ‘dead time’. It’s hard to work from a moving vehicle, and it isn’t like you can do much while you’re traveling.
But this is a fatal mistake that many people make, especially those with a longer commute! Turn off the sports radio and get rid of the pop music. You can be productive on your commute and take advantage of that travel time to boost your career and yourself.
Find a Podcast in Your Field
There are literally thousands of podcasts out there on any subject you can think of. You don’t need a lot of data to listen to them, either – many apps for your phone will let you download your podcasts over WiFi and listen on the go.
Search around for a podcast about your field of work, advancements in that field, or from an expert that you look up to. Chances are, there are plenty to choose from. Staying on top of the latest trends will help you get ahead in your career, and could spark new ideas for your position or work that will mark you as a leader.
Listen To An Audiobook
If you can’t find a podcast you love or you’re getting tired of them, switch to an audiobook. They’re not just for children! There are plenty of apps that let you download a certain amount of books a month, or you can purchase them straight from retailers.
An audiobook about your field, potential advancements, management techniques, or work strategies will all help you advance your career. It’s time you are spending in the car anyway, so there are no more excuses that you simply ‘don’t have the time’ to read something. Listen to it instead!
Think about the day ahead of you, or if you’re driving home, recap what went on. What will the next few days look like? What does your day plan entail? Getting yourself in the right mindset will make the day go by a lot faster, and sitting down at work with that plan already in place puts you in the perfect position to make the most of your day.
Thinking about the day that just passed on your way home will help you set yourself up for planning tomorrow, and lets you leave the issues at work – at work – when you get home, hopefully contributing to a better work-life balance for you.
Handle The Small Stuff
If you’re taking public transit or using a rideshare system to get to work, use this time to catch up on the little details. Reply to all emails, update yourself on team projects and their progress, and set up any appointments or reminders for the coming day.
Obviously, this is terrible advice if you’re driving yourself to work, but many people let others handle the actual moving and simply hang out for the ride. This time you’re spending staring out the window or fiddling with Facebook could really make your day go by smoother and set you on the right path.