Time Well Spent: Ways To Stay Productive During Your Commute

Oct 01, 2018Reading Time: 5 min

Commuting every day can be grueling. If you’re driving, then traffic is hellish. If you’re taking public transit, then the music just isn’t entertaining enough. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to spend your precious time wisely on the way to work. Commuting can go from tiring to exciting, and you can even further your career and expand your knowledge during the downtime. Who said commuting had to be the worst part of the day? Here are a few steps you can take to improve your daily commute:

girl listening to music

Listen to a podcast

Being stuck in traffic is one of the least entertaining things in life. In fact, It’s so unentertaining that reading billboards for car insurance is actually a fun pastime. However, with podcasts, those lifeless days are over. Podcasts are all the rage right now and there are countless of them to choose from. Listening to podcasts allows you to hear stories different from your own and learn about a wide range of topics in a captivating way. Here are popular podcasts of their genre:

  • True crime: Serial

    This podcast is what caused the podcast craze of today. Serial is a murder mystery that will have you gripping the wheel in suspense. Every episode is a plot twist that leaves you craving for more. Believe it or not, but this podcast will have you looking forward to your commute.

  • Comedy: WTF with Marc Maron

    If you love comedy, then you’ll love Marc Maron’s in-depth conversations with comedians, actors, musicians, and even Barack Obama. Maron’s witty banter and strong personality are as entertaining as it gets; your commute just got a lot funnier!

  • Business: Planet Money

    This NPR-produced podcast is a great way to learn about economics in a way that doesn’t make you fall asleep at the wheel. Each episode creatively explains economics so now you can learn on your commute and feel productive before even stepping into work!

  • Politics: Pod Save America

    This podcast is hosted by 4 former aides to President Obama who interview politicians, journalists and even comedians about today’s political climate. Pod Save America is both informational and entertaining--a great way to start your day!

  • Education: Stuff You Should Know

    This award-winning podcast explores any and every topic that is worth learning about. Color blindness, commercial jingles, voodoo, and Twinkies are just a few examples of what is covered on Stuff You Should Know. These random topics are made very interesting, and you’ll definitely be sharing everything you learned in the workplace.

Write in a journal

Sitting on a bus or a train for extended periods of time is tiresome and can feel completely pointless. Daily journaling has been proven to help achieve your goals and inspire creative thoughts, all the while lowering the stress from work. In other words, writing can aid in bringing value to your commute. Whether it be planning out your day or simply jotting down your thoughts, writing is a mental rejuvenation that will evoke happiness and boost your self-confidence. If that’s not convincing enough, think of it like this: writing in a journal is like taking your thoughts to the spa; sometimes your mind needs to unwind in the sauna and come out fully replenished!

guy on phone at train station

Play brain games

If you aren’t driving on your commute, then playing brain-training apps on your phone is a great way to enhance your cognitive skills and have some fun doing it. There are a plethora of games that focus on increasing I.Q., improving concentration and memory, boosting your mood, and much more. Below are 4 games that you can easily play on your way to work and instantly feel more mentally and emotionally refreshed:

  • Lumosity This app gives you daily brain games that sharpen your skill set in just a few minutes of playing. Lumosity offers a myriad of games that concentrate on memory, problem-solving, critical thinking, and logic. Hop off the train feeling like Einstein after downloading Lumosity!
  • Happify This app aims to reduce anxiety and stress through games and activities that ultimately allow you to conquer negative thoughts and emotions. If your commute is causing you stress, then Happify is the app for you!
  • Elevate This app is focused on brain training and offers over 35 games that improve your critical cognitive skills. Elevate claims to also boost confidence, so if you’re feeling low on the bus--Elevate will pick you right back up.
  • Word Search Pro The main objective of this app is to enhance your vocabulary and puzzle skills in a challenging but enjoyable way. Just find the hidden words on the page and feel like a true word-wizard!

Read the news

Maximize your productivity by absorbing the news on your commute. Although the news is often a drag, it’s a reality that must be faced. Getting informed and staying up to date on current events is an important facet of life. Fortunately, there are apps like Flipboard, Feedly, and News360 that help you stay on top of what’s going on in the world. These apps allow you to bookmark articles, consume unbiased information, and stay updated