It’s undeniably common that many 9 to 5ers commute to work. Statistically, the average American spends 27 minutes commuting one way according to The Washington Post in 2018. When you add it up, a commuter will spend about 225 hours commuting a year…so I must ask— what are you doing with all that time? Realistically, many people are listening to the radio or their favorite Spotify playlist. Nothing’s wrong with that, but today I’m here to bring you tips to take advantage of the time you have in your car, do something productive with it, and how it will make your morning better and leave you feeling more accomplished. When I first started commuting to my job which is 40 minutes away, I was discouraged to open my Waze app in the morning. I disliked that I’d have all that time to waste…until I got into a routine of how to take advantage of it. Of all things, it turned into “me time” and time to get my life together. Here’s a few tips to make your morning commute productive and hopefully— more enjoyable.
- Map Out Your To-Do List: You’ve probably heard it everywhere, but create a todo list! Planning out my day ahead of time truly helps me produce results I thought were going to take DAYS to complete. During your morning commute, think about your upcoming deadlines, meetings, and tasks. I like to start prioritizing them mentally so I’m prepared to start with the most urgent task when I get to my desk. If I start to get overwhelmed with all my to-do’s, I use my iPhone to remind me of them at a later time by using the “Hey Siri” option. Since I’m driving, I don’t want to touch my phone so utilizing the voice command option is super helpful in creating reminders while I’m driving. When I get into work, I go over any to-do list items I added through Siri and it helps me keep track of the things I need to get done that day.
- Make a Phone Call: Have you been meaning to schedule an appointment with someone? Forgot to call back a family member or friend? I love to use my commute to make any phone calls I’ve been meaning to make. I’ve made important work calls, scheduled nail appointments, and caught up with my dad all during my morning commute! Returning a call or making calls is one of the most productive things I like to do while driving because again, it doesn’t require your hands and easily becomes one less task you have to worry about when you get into work. I use Siri to play my voicemails and call whomever I need to without having to push a button. Don’t use valuable time in the office or at home to make a call when you can productively do it from the comfort of your car. Also, using the time to catch up with a friend or family member is great for your mental health and lightens up your mood.
- Listen to a Podcast: Listening to podcasts is a perfect way to get those brain juices moving in the AM. Personally, I love listening to podcasts about self-love, personal development, and motivation. Sometimes I’ll listen to a podcast that gets me so excited and ready to start my day that I get to work with such a productive mindset and sense of “I can accomplish anything.” Instead of listening to the same playlist you’ve created over a month ago, try listening to a podcast that teaches you something new, discusses work-related topics, or gives you a sense of motivation.
- Listen to an Audiobook: Can’t find time to study? Consider purchasing your textbook as an audiobook. Many people work while going to school and your morning commute might just be your new study session. For those that prefer reading a book compared to listening— think of it like this, you could still read in the time outside of your commute. Listening to the audiobook will help solidify the information you’ve read and reinforced your memory. If you’re not in school, listening to an audiobook can still be beneficial for learning new strategies, or general information about something you’re interested in.
- Prep for a Meeting/Presentation: Use your commute to prepare for an upcoming presentation or to review talking points for a meeting. Identify what you want to get across to your colleagues or clients and practice what you’re going to say! I’ll usually practice what I’m going to say out loud to myself in my car so I feel extra prepared. There’s no judgment in talking to yourself! Onlookers will just think you’re talking to someone on your Bluetooth! So give it a try— there’s no harm in over-preparing.
Your morning commute shouldn’t feel like wasted time if you’re doing it right. Commuting is part of my daily routine and I enjoy having the time to do the things I’ve listed above. It takes more energy to get annoyed and frustrated about how long it’s going to take you to get to work than to take a deep breathe and make these steps to make your day easier. So I challenge you to be positive and be productive with those extra minutes in the morning. I’m sure you’ll feel more accomplished and ready to start your day. Plus the view isn’t so bad…
Social media maven/coffee enthusiast— Geneveve loves writing and sharing enlightening content with people. In her free time, you can catch her cuddling with her two cats, exploring all the hidden gems in Sacramento and taking yoga classes at her local gym. Want to connect with her? Personal IG: https://www.instagram.com/genevevelynn/ Blogger IG: https://www.instagram.com/glimpseofg/