The average person spends a minimum of twenty five minutes commuting to work and another twenty five coming back from work every day. Some spend as much as forty five minutes on a one way trip to work. How do we make that percentage of our lives that we spend commuting to work productive?
Here are a few things we can do that can make the minutes spent driving to work, waiting for the bus, or the train productive.
- Make Some Long Overdue Phone Calls
You know that relative or friend you have been meaning to call? Now is as a good a time as ever. What about those calls you promised to return?
Relationships are the spice that make live worth living. So instead of spending time sitting idly or letting your mind roam freely, it would be a productive move to strengthen those relationships.
I have always enjoyed a sudden call from a long time friend who I haven’t spoken with in a while. I am sure I am not the only one who does.
Ignore this option if you are the one driving. However, if you go to work by bus, train, or taxi, then this is for you. But make sure you keep your tone low and civil in a public bus or train.
- Plan Your Day. Scratch that, Plan Your Life
Since your life consists of days, it would still be planning your life if you plan day by day. However, the commute to work is a good period to plan what your day will look like. Beyond that, you could plan what you life should look like.
Do you have a meeting with your staff, or with a prospect? Now is the best time to plan it.
Most people don’t have enough time early in the morning to plan their day. If you are one of such, take your commute to work as an opportunity to give your day some structure. Just make sure you keep your pen and writing pad handy.
The little time you spend commuting to work is also a great time to draw up a business plan. You know those plans you have to sack your boss and be your own employer? Well, start drawing up plans and strategies, budgets and ideas.
Writing them down makes them ‘realer’ and easier to work on.
- Catch up with Knowledge, Catch up with the News
Technological innovations in form of smart phones and PCs are the major sources of distraction that people face today. It doesn’t have to be so, because technology is equally the greatest means of knowledge that we have.
Instead of whiling away too much time just staring at your phone and laughing at chats and memes, utilize tools like Amazon kindle e-reader. Or log on to your favorite online newspapers.
Research and read up on topics that intrigue you. You could equally listen to audio books or audio lectures on courses you don’t have the time to go and learn.
If you are like me, then you prefer a good old paperback, hardcopy book or magazine. If you are not driving yourself, then you should just settle down with one.
- Meditate; bring to the fore of your mind all you have already learnt
Some have defined meditation as long hours of doing nothing, but this is not true. Meditations can be few minutes of productive thinking.
Sometimes all you need is an earphone plugged to a device playing soft music. Once this happens, you can then settle at the back of the bus, stare through the window and meditate. Believe me, it wouldn’t be a waste of time.
Doing this often gives you a chance to think through your life and recent acts. When you do this, you will realize mistakes you have made in the past and how to fix them. You will equally be able to reflect on lessons you have learnt in recent times and how you can maximize them.
You might have had a good night’s rest, but that was your body resting. Just as sleep is rest for the body, meditation is rest for the mind and just as our bodies are more productive at night, our minds (and bodies) are too when we meditate.
- Learn a New Language
If you are like me and you love learning new languages, the few minutes that we have while commuting to work could just be the best time to realize those dreams.
Imagine what would happen if you learnt one new phrase of a foreign language every single day. Imagine you found a way to use that phrase in your conversations that day.
With such a routine you would have learnt at least 300 words in a year. It means that you will have a healthy vocabulary by the end of two years.
There are tons of apps and audio based tools you can use to learn your dream language while taking our daily trips. Who says you need a regular class and a teacher?
Rather than kill yourself with worry or idle away your time, you could use these tools to indeed make every second count.