How to Make Your Commute Productive


The highest caliber business owners and entrepreneurs utilize every minute of their day. Though this may be a lofty goal, there are certainly ways to make our daily routines more efficient and productive. Consider the morning and evening commute—time blocks that are accounted for every day. For some of us, daily commutes may mean a lengthy drive through gridlock traffic, or perhaps just a quick fifteen-minute crosstown excursion. However short or long your commute may be, there are ways to maximize this component of your daily routine and reap the rewards.

With that in mind, take a look at some ideas below to inject some energy and productivity into your daily commute.

  • Listen to the latest industry-centric podcasts or audiobooks.

Whether you drive, bike, walk, or take public transportation, a commute is the perfect time to tune into an industry-oriented podcast or audiobook as a way of building your skills or getting into the zone for the day. Instead of letting your commute time be passive, you can process insights from leading industry professionals, or develop your skillset on a topic you haven’t yet made time for. Perhaps you’d like to develop your social media presence, or maybe you’d like to tap into the millennial homebuyer market—whatever the case may be, there is audio material out there suited to your interests. What’s more, podcasts are free and easy to incorporate on your smartphone or tablet, and there are ample audiobook subscription services out there that make regular listenership cost effective.

  • Create a mental to-do list to get a head-start on your day, or to prepare for tomorrow.

Getting your thoughts in order with a straightforward to-do list can help you dive in once you make it to your desk, or serve as a conclusive mental routine to end your work day. If you drive to and from work and don’t have your hands free, don’t fret. Speaking your to-do list aloud can help you detangle your thoughts and tasks by vocalizing them. You can also try breaking down your to-do list by verbalizing the day’s goals, the week’s goals, and the month’s goals as a way of structuring priorities. If your commute is hands-free, you can incorporate a variety of apps that serve as custom-made to-do lists that’ll organizationally map your duties for the day. In either case, use your commute window to identify and name the tasks ahead of you, and you’ll be able to hit the ground running when the time comes to perform.

  • Tend to your personal commitments and planning.

A productive commute can boost your professional performance, but it can also serve your personal growth and out-of-the-office responsibilities, as well. Perhaps you can think out and plan your meals for the week so that you don’t come home burnt out and with nothing in mind for dinner. Maybe you check in with a relative or partner and catch up for a spare twenty minutes. Not only does this eliminate a few items off of your personal to-do list, it can actually give you a more focused mind at the office. If your personal life is in good order, you’ll be able to devote your full attention to work tasks.

As the old saying goes, there are only so many hours in a day. If you added up all the minutes spent commuting around town, how many hours would amount? Though the trek to and from the office is an engrained part of professional life, it doesn’t have to be a drag. Account for those spare commute windows in productive ways, and in only a month you’ll have devoted a significant portion of your time to bettering yourself as a person and a professional.