For many, the drive to and from the workplace is a considerable distance, and with traffic, getting to work can take a good amount of time. For some, the trip can require more than an hour a day.
That piles up to five hours a week or 20 hours a month! How do you use your time while commuting to and from work? Do you see your commute as a drag, time just wasted and tolerated each day? Or do you view it as bit of personal time that can be useful and productive?
Here are five suggestions for you to make the most out of the time you spend getting to and from work. Try one. You might just start looking forward to that stop-and-go traffic tomorrow morning.
With your long commute, your busy schedule, and your family demands, getting in the recommended 30 minutes of exercise each day may be your last priority. Why not include exercise in the way you get to and from your job? If you are fortunate to live in close proximity to your work, walking or biking the distance would be a great way to get a daily work out while also being healthier for you and the environment.
If you ride a train or subway, stand instead of sitting. You may just be riding to work, but you'll actually burn calories if you stand. Also, take the stairs instead of elevators when possible and park your car in the farthest spot in the lot. These little steps help you make the most out of your commute.
If you are already fitting exercise into your schedule, use your commute time to relax or meditate. After a hectic morning getting everyone out of the house on time or after a stressful day at the office, the time alone in your car can be a time to refocus before your next call of duty. Listen to your favorite music, spend time in prayer, or just enjoy the quiet.
If you travel by train or bus, spend your down time doing things you enjoy or need to get done. Check your emails, Facebook, pay bills online, hunt for your next vacation destination, or shop on E-Bay. Better yet, write a letter with a pen and paper. There's something magic about going back to your handwritten roots!
Feel like you don't have time read a book or learn something new to stimulate your brain? Use the time in your car to listen to a CD that can teach you a new language. Or you could check out an audio book from the library or read a book if you're not behind the wheel. You can also download a lecture from a university website or from iTunes to listen to on your IPOD.
Sitting in the car, bus, or train offers a great time to catch up on local, national, and world news. Reading the newspaper or listening to news radio is a useful way to spend those minutes or hours to and from work. Not only will you be up to date on the latest buzz, you'll be smarter for it and be more aware of the world around you.
While your first priority should be to concentrate on the road, use your headset or speakerphone to catch up with family or friends. Return those calls you've been meaning to make, hire the weekend babysitter, or make your dinner reservations. Making these calls while traveling won't cut into your family time at home. Just be sensitive to those around you. Talking on your cell phone can annoy fellow passengers or drivers.