Making the Most of Your Commute to The Office

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The daily commute for many can seem like a waste of time – a period of forced downtime, when most of the time you can’t do anything. Unless you work from home and start your work day right after finishing breakfast, you would have to make your way to a different location. There are different difficulties with working from home, but this is the matter for a different blog. But what if we reframed that perspective? Could this time, spent driving, biking, or riding the bus, be transformed into something productive, even enjoyable? Absolutely!

Let’s try to see what can be done while you’re commuting to you office space.

Planning Your Commute Arsenal

Before diving in, let’s consider the tools at your disposal. For most commutes, a smartphone is your primary one. Here are some essential apps to consider:

  • Podcasts and audiobooks: Load up on podcasts covering your industry, personal development topics, or that gripping fiction series you’ve been meaning to read. This will free up your time for other things at home and give you the dose of personal development,
  • News and current events: Stay informed with news apps or podcasts dedicated to specific topics that interest you.
  • Learning apps: Languages, coding, business skills – the possibilities for on-the-go learning are endless. You can find some that are purely audio or have something interactive in case you’re riding and not driving.
  • Music streaming: Sometimes, all you need is a good playlist to energize your morning or unwind after a long day.
  • Meditation apps: De-stress and center yourself with guided meditations, perfect for a calming pre-work ritual.

Commute by Car: Maximize Efficiency

If you drive to work, here’s how to leverage that time:

  • Audiobooks and Podcasts: Listen to educational or inspirational content while navigating traffic.
  • Hands-Free Calls: Catch up with colleagues, family, or friends while keeping your eyes on the road (check local laws regarding phone use while driving). You can make a habit of calling your mom every morning (if timing is allows).
  • Dictate Notes and Ideas: Stuck on a creative problem? Use voice dictation to capture thoughts and ideas for later exploration.
  • Organize Your Day: Use the commute to review your calendar, prioritize tasks, and set goals for the day ahead.

Commute by Public Transportation: Deep Dive into Learning

Bus rides and train commutes offer a captive environment for focused learning and they also free your hands. For some people who get motion sickness, the only way to fill time is the same as with driving – listening to something. For others, you can read and learn and write. 

  • Reading and Research: Catch up on industry publications, e-books, or long-form articles you haven’t had time for.
  • Online Courses: Many platforms offer bite-sized video lessons or in-depth courses you can tackle during your commute.
  • Foreign Language Learning: Language learning apps are perfect for practicing pronunciation and vocabulary during short bursts.

Commute by Bike: Recharge Yourself

You may be lucky enough to commute to work by bicycle or skateboarding or rollerblades. This is one of the greatest thing and the benefit of it goes without saying. You can get your needed daily exercise, save money on gas, don’t emit any pollutions and overall your ride will be cheaper and healthier than any other options. While riding a bike you can also listen to something, but be careful on the road!

Beyond Productivity: Rest and Recharge

Commuting isn’t just about getting things done. It’s also an opportunity to recharge your mental batteries:

  • Mindfulness Meditation: Use apps or simply practice mindful breathing to de-stress and arrive at work feeling centered.
  • Beauty time: If you riding you can do facial massages, breath training, even mini yoga sessions.
  • Visualizations and Goal Setting: Visualize achieving your goals while listening to calming music.
  • Power Naps (on buses/trains, not while driving!): A short 20-minute nap can significantly improve alertness and focus.

The Art of Disconnecting

Sometimes, the best use of your commute is simply to…disconnect. Stare out the window, listen to calming music, or lose yourself in a good book. Disconnecting from the constant stimulation of technology can be incredibly restorative. This is also can be “me” time, especially if you have kids and work with people. Being alone for some time is needed for everyone.

Finding the Right Balance

The key to a successful commute routine is finding the right balance. Maybe some days crave focused learning, while others call for a relaxing podcast or simply staring out the window. Experiment and find what works best for you. If you have a short distance, like 2-3 miles to your office, consider walking one way and riding/driving the other. 

Is your daily commute a stark reminder that your office space is less than inspiring? Maybe it’s time to explore a change! Consider searching for office space rentals that prioritize employee well-being and offer a vibrant, stimulating environment, like Boston offices. Look for spaces with natural light, collaborative work areas, and even on-site amenities like fitness centers or relaxation areas. A great workspace can significantly impact your overall work experience and potentially make even the longest commute worthwhile.

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