For many people, the commute to and from work is ‘grey’ time where nothing much gets done and time is simply wasted. Whether it’s being a more productive employee or self improvement, there’s plenty that can be achieved while we make our way to and from the office or place of work. By spending our time waiting to reach our destination, we forget that we have a mini computer in our pocket that could be put to good use.
1) Read a book
The time you spend on the train or bus is perfect for settling back and reading or listening to a book. Reading helps us to relax and blocks out the busy, stressful world around us at rush hour.
Immersing yourself in the latest novel is also a great way to improve engagement in the office. By starting a commute book club, employees can all complete the same book and discuss it during the lunch break or via social apps.
2) Learn something new
Often it’s hard to find the time or motivation to educate ourselves during the week, as we prefer to shut off, go to the gym or generally veg out in front of the TV. The journey home is a great time to learn new skills or educate ourselves about interesting topics.
Setting particular search terms for the day and reading web articles that are found as a result, is an effective way to vary what subjects you’re learning about and keep things fresh and interesting.
Another way is to listen to/read an educational book on your phone using apps such as Audible, Soundcloud or Kindle.
Apps, such as LinkedIn, allow us to stay in touch with existing contacts as well as forge new connections and widen our professional networks. Without the restriction of having to be in the office to access the internet, we’re able to proactively enhance our social profiles and interact with our networks from anywhere and at any time.
Maintaining our social profiles, especially on those networks that can help us progress in our careers, is taking more and more time.
Updating and optimising these profiles is no longer possible during our lunch breaks and isn’t appropriate in many cases during working hours, which make the commute perfect for this type of activity.
4) Get the reactive stuff done
Imagine if all the reactive tasks that you have to do during the day, such as respond to emails, proof read documents or read the notes of a meeting, were done and out of the way before you even reached the office.
It’s entirely possible to get a big chunk of reactive work done on the journey into the office on your phone or tablet, leaving you free to concentrate on the proactive and strategic actions that help you to benefit the business’s growth.
5) Increase your influence
By curating and creating quality industry news and interacting with your industry peers, you’ll start to build your influence as a professional. Sharing articles and writing your own blog are both great ways to get noticed and are achievable during your commute by using your mobile device.
Whether you’re searching for specific topics to share socially or writing an article for your site, increasing your exposure as an expert will give your career a great boost.
6) Start or end the working day by creating something
You can browse apps such as Pinterest for ideas about creating pretty much anything meaning that you can set up separate projects for your home, like decorating or cooking. Other apps such as Instagram allow you to create photos and videos to share, maybe of your commute and the sights you see as you travel to and from the office.
7) Review today, plan for tomorrow
Your commute is the perfect opportunity to reflect on your day and make sure that any actions for the following day in the office are noted and part of your plan.
To-do lists are a great way to make sure you don’t forget anything that needs to be done the following day, and by reviewing how your day went you’ll be able to identify any improvements that are needed in certain areas of your time in the office.