If you're a commuter, you will know what it's like. Every morning you're going to be spending time sitting on a train or staring out of a bus window. Unfortunately there is very little you can do about it and unless your company runs a flexible work from home option or you run your own business where your presence at the office isn't always required, you're going to be commuting for the foreseeable future.
And queue the sighs of anguish. Here's the thing though, the commute is often viewed as a negative thing but what it really is, is the time in a day where you have nothing to do but be where you are.
In the UK the average commuter will spend 10,634 hours travelling to and from work. Yes, you did read that correctly, that's a whopping 1 year and 2 months of your life spent on the move.
So it sounds all doom and gloom so far but there is hope. Life is busy, you get up, you go to work, usually get home late and have to hit the hay early to be at it again. Embracing your commute time as something positive can be a brilliant way to achieve more and waste less time. Here are 6 great ways to maximise your commute to benefit your work.
The world of Podcasting is bigger than ever, I challenge anyone to find me a subject there isn't a podcast for. Alright so you may not find a podcast involving ancient symbols between 746BC and 345BC but you will more than likely find something that peaks your interest. You can listen to more leisure based podcasts or you can listen to something that will really benefit you and your business.
A few of my personal favourites are This is your life by Michael Hyatt, Entrepreneur on fire by John Lee Dumas and the Ted talks.
The great thing about podcasts are although they do require some attention, you can still relax. There is no manual intervention needed. Stick your headphones in and listen to someone else talking. I find listening to a podcast on the way home is great, it doesn't require much energy. Leave the emails and the note taking for the morning when you're rested.
Write a book
Hold on a minute, I'm no author" Well here's the thing, everyone can be an author nowadays. The world of E-books and self-publishing has given millions of people the opportunity to get their work seen. It doesn't really cost anything and an idea and a bit of creativity can be the start of a brilliant project.
People write E-books on every subject known to man, but if you are looking to advance your career why not make it about what you do for a living. You will be surprised how many others there are that want to read something about what they do, however obscure.
Books require research and lots of it. Research usually requires the internet and although trains, busses and aeroplanes are improving on the Wi-Fi front, there are still dead spots. Try and organise your research at home, maybe on a Sunday evening for a couple of hours, this way you can type away on whichever means of transport you've taken. Skimming through your notes, safe in the knowledge that you have everything you need to construct your book.
I couldn't recommend this enough. If you find a blog you like, it can be a huge resource. Blog posts usually take around 3 –10 minutes to read. That's a fair few posts per journey and if you choose which blogs you follow carefully, you're going to learn an awful lot from them. Again make them career based, I read a tonne of marketing and entrepreneurship blogs. Not only do they keep me up to date with everything going on in my sector but they inspire and motivate to. There is a lot to be said for the power of the written word, heck, it's why I write this blog. For marketing and entrepreneurship some of my favourites are Neilpatel.com, Hubspot.com jeffbulas.com and the MOZ blog to name just a few.
The best way to keep it all in one place is without a doubt Feedly. This a newsfeed like setup where all your latest blog posts are displayed, I can't recommend it enough and it cuts out on all the hunting for new blog posts and scouring through your inbox to find the latest posts your favourite bloggers have sent you.
Bear with me, I'm not pulling your leg here. Everyone get's tired and a quick 40 winks is a good way to stave of the afternoon urge to shut your eyes. On the way to work throw a 20-minute power nap in. This is the optimal time for napping, anymore and you're going to start feeling groggy. Obviously pay attention when you napping, don't miss your stop. That's going to stress you out a lot.
Make a list
If you're anything like me, you've always got something that needs writing down. Whether this be an idea for a blog post or a "to do" list for the day ahead. I find a good list brings order to chaos as well as setting you up for the day.
You can use the notes application on your iPhone but a better option in my personal opinion is Evernote. It does loads of things very well. You can sync it across several devices and do various things like add pictures to your notes and drafts.
There is free version as well as two paid versions so it depends what you are looking for. Either way, whichever version you go for it's worth taking a look.
Tidy up your social media profiles
I love social media; it's the central point around which I run this blog. Twitter is the second highest source of traffic for this site, second only to Google and Facebook isn't far behind.
I use social media a lot and like anything in use, if you don't keep on top of it, it can get scruffy. Run through who you're currently following on twitter and remove anyone who's inactive from your feed. If you don't want to remove anyone, try adding individuals you like to a twitter list. This way you can see all you favourite accounts in one place without the added jumble of an entire twitter feed to read through.
The round up
You're going to spend time travelling to and from work, unfortunately you can't do a great deal about it, but you can make better use of your time. In a world where time is scarce, a commute is actually a period that you should be taking advantage of. It's likely you're not going to change the world from a train carriage but you can do a lot of groundwork, even if it is just for forty winks.