According to surveys, the average American spends 100 or more hours a year commuting to work. Many people dislike commuting because they feel that they are wasting their time as they crawl through traffic or stare out the window looking at the clouds. But your commute does not have to be a boring time suck – there are several things you can do to utilize the ride efficiently. Here are three things to do while commuting that can help you improve your career and productivity at work.
If you are riding the bus, taking the subway or carpooling and you don’t get carsick easily, use the opportunity to read. You can use the time to catch up on work related materials that have been piling up, prepare for a meeting, or find out about new things that can help you do your job better. On the other hand, if you need a break from work take this chance to relax by reading something entirely frivolous and pleasurable. It’s important to read something you enjoy once in a while to give yourself a break so you can return to work reenergized. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy indeed.
[Consider using the time to meditate.]
Reading is not an option if you are the one driving the car. But that doesn’t mean you can’t gain something from the experience. Books on tape can be just as enjoyable and informative as print books. Although there are fewer books available on tape then there are in print, there are still plenty of choices. Audio books can be found at bookstores and libraries, or through services like audible.com. If it’s too early in the morning for you to focus on someone talking, listen to some music to get yourself ready for your workday. Soothing classical music is a nice way to start off your day in a relaxed way, or maybe you’d enjoy some rock n’ roll to get the blood flowing so you’ll be fully awake.
If you carpool or take public transportation, you can use your commute time to socialize. If you are a particularly chatty person who does not get to schmooze as much as you would like during the workday, this is your chance to get your daily dose of dialogue through fun chitchat and easy give and take conversation. But this can also be a great opportunity to network and develop relationships with fellow employees and businesspeople – many a career has been made through the personal connections people make with others. You can also bounce ideas off your fellow passengers and learn new things that may help you during the workday.
This is a guest post written by Ryan Embly from the rental car website CarRentalExpress.com.