Judging from the traffic situation during peak hours, a lot of time is spent on the road when commuting to work. Even if you take public transportation, there’s still a good 30 minutes or so when you’re in the bus/train/MRT with time on hand.
Instead of scrolling down Facebook and Instagram or just staring out of the window mindlessly, why not make good use of your commute? Whether you’re at the wheel, a passenger or on public transportation, here are 10 ideas on how you can make your commute more productive.
This applies if you are taking public transportation (not when you’re driving!). You can read the usual fiction but why not up your reading game by picking up books on leadership, self-help, or the newspapers to catch up on the latest events? If you’re wondering what to read, here are some great titles to check out: The 4-Hour Workweek, Girlboss, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, Leave Your Mark.
#2 Listen to an Audiobook
You can subscribe to an audiobook service and do some “reading” while driving to work. Apps like Audible and Scribd offer a wide range of books in all genres with a monthly subscription. Audiobooks can be quite engaging that you’d almost wish your commute wouldn’t end!
#3 Podcast it
Like audiobooks, listening to podcasts is a great way to spend your commute. There’s a podcast for just about everything, from food to travel to crime – and also video podcasts if you’re more the watching type. The great thing about podcasts is many of them are pretty educational and inspiring. Like these ones – Reply All (for all your tech types), How to Build the Future (interviews with inventors and founders like Mark Zuckerberg) and Forbes’ The Limit Does Not Exist (about expanding your potential).
#4 Reply emails
You know all those unanswered emails in your inbox? No better time than your commute to get down to them. And by the time you get to work, all of them – replied!
#5 Make your to-do list for the day
Why not start your workday on the commute by planning it out? Whether you are sitting on the train or stuck in traffic, it’s a great time to write your to-do list, prioritise your tasks or update your calendar. That way, when you get to work, you can hit the ground running. Or if you have work you need done, take out that laptop and get a head start to the day by working on the train.
#6 Learn a new language
Always wanted to learn a new language? Plug in your headphones or turn on the car stereo and listen to that language CD or podcast. With so much time spent during your commute, you’d go through your lessons in a breeze.
#7 Do some personal planning
Thinking about going on a holiday? Use your commute time to do some research on hotels and flights. Your turn to pick the restaurant for your monthly get-together with friends? Check out reviews online. Use your commute time to check off things on your personal must-do list so that you can be 100% focus at work.
#8 Brain exercises
Charge up the brain before work – do some puzzles while on your commute. Whether it is Sudoku or crossword, this is an excellent time to give your brain a good morning workout so that you’re ready to go the minute you get to work. It’s also great to do during your commute back to unwind and get your mind off work for the day.
#9 Go zen
Why not give your mind some peace before a busy workday starts? Plus, going into that zen zone could be useful when you’re stuck in traffic or shoulder-to-shoulder with the rest of the commuting crowd. Download a meditation or relaxing app like Headspace or Calm to help guide you to inner peace.
#10 Work on something personal
You know that blog post you’ve been putting aside? Get to it during your commute. Or how about those photos you want to edit before uploading on Instagram? Perfect time to work on them when stuck in jam. Writing the great Malaysian novel? Work on it while waiting for the train.
Photo by JC Gellidon on Unsplash