If you commute 30 minutes each way to work, that’s about 250 hours per year. That’s a lot of time you’re probably not putting to good use. Whether you drive yourself, take part in a carpool, or use public transportation, making the best use of those extra hours can be a gamechanger. Most people waste this time. Don’t be like most people.
Wisely utilize your time on public transportation or during your carpool with these practices:
1. Read. If someone else is doing the driving, pull out a book and make the most of your time. You can choose to read something purely for enjoyment or to educate yourself in some way. It’s up to you.
2. Meditate. Meditating on public transportation might be the ultimate meditation challenge. Anyone can meditate on a nice cushion, alone, and in a darkened, quiet room. Real meditators can do it anywhere!
3. Listen to books on tape. Maybe reading isn’t your thing. Maybe you get car sick. No problem. Just about any book is available on tape these days. Many of the electronic reading devices, like Kindles, will read the book to you even if it isn’t specifically available in an audio format.
4. Listen to anything else. Music, podcasts, news, and self-hypnosis recordings are all viable options. The options are always expanding.
5. Practice your social skills. Instead of pretending the person next to you doesn’t exist, work on your social skills. You might even make a new friend or find your soulmate. Pick one thing to work on, like small talk or eye contact, and put in some practice.
Try these ways to benefit even if you drive yourself:
1. Books on tape. Again, you can use this technology to make the most of your time. Just remember to pay attention to the road.
2. Gratitude. A morning drive to work or back home can be a great time to be grateful. It can help you to enhance your attitude and mood. What do you have to be grateful for? Ask yourself that question each day and you’ll be surprised how many things you can come up with.
3. Prepare for your day. Rehearse in your mind what you need to accomplish at work before you get there. How are you going to spend your first hour? What is the most important thing you need to accomplish today?
• If you’re headed home, think about what you need to accomplish there. What does your family need from you?
4. Practice being present. See how well you can just keep your mind on your drive. Be aware of your surroundings, instead of worrying about work, bills, or anything else. You’ll be surprised by how challenging this can be. It’s also surprising how relaxing it is after you get the hang of it.
All of these can also be done while you’re commuting on public transportation.
Even a short commute can yield valuable results if the time is used effectively. If you have a longer commute, it’s imperative to use that time well. Rather than just mindlessly sitting there, accomplish something that can benefit your entire life. Each minute can be precious if used maximally. Take advantage of your commute.