Unless you work at home, you probably have a commute. Most people are just resigned to the fact that this is one of the expenses associated with being employed. However, commuting doesn’t have to result in wasted time. Here are some tips to make your commute a productivity blowout. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 10.8 million commute an hour or more to work and at least 600,000, also known as “mega-commuters” travel 90 minutes or more both ways. The national average is 25.5 minutes but if you take a look at the PayScale Salary Report for Commute Time in the U.S. even the average commute time for Wal-mart employers is 17.6 minutes, which is still enough time to accomplish something. If you are looking for extra time in the day, this may be your answer.
Minimize Idle Time with Technology
In a recent article, Alix Montes suggests taking advantage of as much of your commute time as possible with technology and mobile apps. Many commuters who rely on public transportation are familiar with the amount of time spent on just waiting. Apps can be used to check scheduling for buses and trains and cut down on idle time. There is also nothing wrong with filling in time with a game app and if you want to get your brain going while you wait, try one of the hundreds of word games available.
Catch Up Online
Do you have a favorite website that you visit but never feel like you should be wasting time visiting? Commute time is a great time to catch up on your favorite blogs, current event sites, or just looking at pictures of cats. Not a bad time to socialize a bit on Twitter and Facebook, either. By the time you get to work, you will have had enough of social networking to get you through the day.
Read a Real Book
How many times have you said “I’ve been waiting to find time to read that”? Another way to increase productivity while commuting is reading and it’s recommended to break from technology once in a while and bring a real book along for the commute.
Call Your Mother
Although texting and email are both super convenient, the commute may be a good time to actually call someone and chat. That is, if you have someone who doesn’t mind getting phone calls early in the morning. Otherwise, save the phone calls for the commute home.
Take Advantage of Alone Time
Listen to music, clear your head, relax and make a point to do absolutely nothing. As Montez mentions, “Sometimes the most productive thing we can do is nothing at all”. It’s also a good way to unwind from the stress of the office if you take in some “alone time” on the way home.
We can’t buy more time. But if we take a few minutes of extra planning, we may be able to at least use our time wisely.
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