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Start-Ups

How to Be More Productive During Your Commute

By Townes Haas   |    December 10, 2015   |    9:16 AM

Tips and Tricks to Get the Most From Your Commute

Entrepreneurs can use all of the time they can get, and commuting can feel like a colossal waste of precious time. It doesn’t have to be, though. Busy entrepreneurs can optimize their time spent commuting to and from the office and to business meetings, and here are some tips and tricks to help you turn your commute into a satisfyingly productive time.

Listen to podcasts, webinars, and audio books

Use your commute to catch up on helpful professional and personal development tasks, like listening to podcasts, webinars, or audio books. There’s a podcast for every conceivable interest, and you could learn a new skill or brush up on an old one. If you’re driving just pay careful attention to the road ahead of you while you listen.

Plan your day

Your morning commute is the perfect time to think about how your day will pan out. Run through your most important priorities and think about how they’ll fit into your schedule. Planning is easier if you can write things down, but it isn’t necessary.

H3: Learn a language on your commute

Would learning Spanish help you connect with more clients and customers? Or maybe you need to brush up on your Mandarin? It doesn’t matter which language you want to learn, there’s a way to “study” while you’re in the car, cycling, or riding public transit.

Music is a fun and effective way to learn and can be especially effective when combined with podcasts, news stations, and other forms of audio. If you’re taking public transit, apps like Duolingo will transform your seat on the train into an interactive language-learning classroom.

Commute with coworkers

Commuting with coworkers might not be possible during your morning and evening commutes, but surely you can commute to meetings with members of your team. Use the time spent getting to meetings for brainstorming or running through your presentation. If you have other low-priority meetings that keep getting pushed back try doing them while you travel together.

Catch up on email

Most of us spend way too much time wrestling with our inboxes, so why not knock out that task during your commute? This only works when you’re on public transportation, but imagine how much stress you could eliminate from your mornings by catching up on email during your commute.

Strike up a conversation with a stranger

If talking to strangers during your commute doesn’t exactly sound productive, try reframing the scenario. Nowadays, the bulk of our communication occurs through technology. We’re constantly emailing and texting, and talking to someone in person is becoming a lost art. You could learn something new, develop a new business contact, or simply share a few laughs.

Turn your commute into a workout

If you’ve never tried biking to work, consider giving it a go! You’ll avoid much of the stress that comes with morning rush hour while getting your daily workout done and out of the way. Biking home is also a wonderful way to decompress after a long day.

Do absolutely nothing during your commute

Traveling to and from work could be the only “me” time you get all day, and there’s nothing wrong with taking advantage of this time. Turn up your music and sing along to your favorite songs, talk to yourself, or enjoy the silence. You may even find that incorporating this down time into your routine vastly improves your productivity during the workday. If your days are already packed with to-dos and tasks, do you really need to squeeze more productivity out of your commute? After all, there are countless ways to increase your productivity and save time.