Whether it’s heavy traffic on your drive to work, down time in an airport or the train ride home, a commute can be draining. Reportedly the average travel time to work in the United States is 25 minutes. Apply this to a five-day work week driving back and forth, that’s over four hours spent in your car. Factor in long flights and airport delays and you spend a considerable amount of time each month just trying to get somewhere so you can do your job!
The good news is this doesn’t have to be wasted time or a miserable experience! Here are some tips on how to commute like a boss.
• Utilize the time to learn something new. Search for podcasts that interest you and can benefit your professionally. I’ve already put together a list of my favorites here. Have a book you haven’t had the time to read yet? Download the audiobook version and start listening!
• Clean up your inbox. Use your time (while not driving!) to delete obsolete emails, unsubscribe from spam and finally read all those flagged messages.
• Return phone calls. Eliminate the red icon on your phone showing you how many voicemails you need to return. Use the longer stretches of time commuting provides to catch up with a college friend or family member who you enjoy longer conversations with.
• Make lists. Grocery lists, to-do lists, goal lists-all of these can be done when you have some down time. Apps even exist that allow you to verbalize your list, so you can do this while driving. These lists will help you be prepared to tackle the rest of your week.
• Have some YOU time. Maybe your commute is the only time in your day to enjoy the quiet. Or maybe its your time to turn up Pandora’s Hip Hop Barbeque station (if you haven’t listened and love late 90’s rap, check it out!) and sing at the top of your lungs with no little ears in the car. I survive long flights by watching episodes of my favorite Netflix shows what I know my husband wouldn’t enjoy!
• Dress accordingly. If you know you have a long day of travel ahead, plan your outfit accordingly. Avoid materials that wrinkle easily or are uncomfortable to sit in for an extended period. Dress in layers to accommodate for temperature fluctuations (also that extra jacket can double as a pillow for a mid-flight snooze).
• Pack snacks. Pack your favorite things to ensure you’re prepared when stuck on the tarmac for hours or don’t have enough time to pull over and grab something. Protein bars, jerky, peanut butter and almonds are easy to pack and give you the protein boost you need to combat travel fatigue. Be courteous to your fellow travelers and avoid smelly snacks!
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