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Long Commute? Here are 3 Tips to Use That Time to Better Yourself

Long Commute? Here are 3 Tips to Use That Time to Better Yourself

Commuting is often viewed in a negative context. Many people spend at least 30 minutes to an hour or more each way in their car, on a bus or with other methods of transportation trying to get back forth to work. While you may be concerned about the financial impact of your commute on your budget, wasted time is also a point of contention with commuters. This time is often wasted as you creep along at a slow pace with fellow commuters packed in beside you. More than that, it is often a stressful, frustrating time as you deal with rude drivers all around you who are trying in vain to get to work faster than everyone else or unhappy bus or subway travelers. While this may be your current commuting experience, you may be able to transform your commute time so that it is more pleasant and productive. In fact, there are three positive ways for you to spend this time each day. You may adopt one of these ideas fully, or you may incorporate all three of them into your routine in various ways.

Educate Yourself

Many people listen to the radio while commuting to work, but morning and afternoon radio is often filled with useless banter between talking heads with only the occasional song that you may have already heard several other times this week. A better way to spend this time is to listen to educational CDs in your car or through headphones on the bus or subway. Some people will play self-help instructional CDs to improve their weaknesses as work. For example, some of these CDs may focus on leadership, management, sales techniques and more. Additional instruction in these areas may help you to progress more quickly along your career path.

There are also other CDs to teach you a foreign language. You may need or want to learn French, Spanish, Mandarin or something else. With several hours per week or more devoted to foreign language instruction, you may be fluent in a foreign language before you know it. This may make travel more enjoyable, or it may open up career opportunities for you that are more rewarding or lucrative.

You may also listen to educational CDs focused on personal development and enrichment. This may involve personal finance topics, such as budgeting or investing. It may deal with interpersonal relationships with your family or friends. Most people have many things about their lives they would like to change, and you can use your time in the car to learn how to make positive changes in areas that you are currently unhappy with.

Relax and Meditate

Commuting can be stressful, and this means that you may arrive at work grumpy each morning. You may also be in a foul mood at night around your spouse and kids because of your commute. In fact, your bad mood may remain in place throughout the week, and this is no way to live. There is no need to let your commute stress you out because you can use this time to relax and meditate. Play relaxing sounds, such as instrumental flutes or nature sounds, through your car’s sound system or through headphones. Learn and practice deep breathing techniques while you make your way slowly down the road. You can also learn how to meditate, visualize your goals and objectives and more so that you are in the proper frame of mind at work or at home. While your primary attention should be focused on safely getting from point A to point B, you may find that these simple steps can help you to feel more relaxed and focused throughout the day.

Network and Prepare for the Day

If you are a busy professional and often feel as though there is not enough time in the day to get everything done, consider putting your time in the car to better use. While talking, texting and emailing on the phone is not recommended or even legal in many areas, you can still network and prepare for the day in different ways. For example, rather than drive to work in your car, you can take the bus, subway or train. Then, you can easily text, check email and more to knock out a considerable amount of work before you arrive. This essentially turns down time into fully productive time in your day.

If you prefer to drive or if it is your only choice, you can always use Bluetooth technology or a voice recorder to handle some tasks. For example, you can dictate text messages and emails through many smartphones. You can also use a voice recorder to dictate instructions for your personal assistant to follow once you get to work. Calls can be made through Bluetooth as well. When you adopt these practices, you can easily jump right into your day when you get to the office. Because you complete some of your to-do items on the road, you will free up time in your workday to work on other important tasks.

When returning home in the evening, use the time to think through your day to prepare a to-do list for the next day through your voice recognition feature. This way, you can stop worrying about work when you arrive home, and you can easily turn your full attention to your family.

Many people unfortunately spend five, seven or more hours in the car, bus or subway each week driving back and forth to work. When you lead a busy, active life, it is easy to grow frustrated by this wasted time. The reality is that most people could be spending this time far more productively than they currently are. In fact, you can use this time to better yourself in various ways. Think through your personal weaknesses, educational goals, points of stress in the day and more. Consider how you can use some of these tips and ideas to improve yourself in these areas. You may be surprised by how productive you can make your commute when you put forth proper effort.