Discover Ways to Make Your Commute Work Well for You
So many have longer commutes to school and work these days. One question that was posed to me recently on quora.com for assistance involved how to make good use of one's commuting time to and from work. This is an especially interesting and relevant question for many of us. There are many choices that each person can make for their respective commute. To that end, I would like to offer some suggestions that are more specifically oriented to the commute to school/work and ways to maximize the benefit to you from your commuting choices in how you spend that time.
Many begin their days at school and in the office by catching up with social media, whether person or professionally oriented. Whether it is for personal/professional networking or personal learning and professional development, there are activities that you can incorporate on the way in to your school or job that will make your day that much more focused and productive.
With all the distractions that occur at different times in today’s workplace, a 1.5 hour commute where you are sitting down provides a great opportunity for some focused and strategic work:
- Meditative Calm and Focus: Begtinnings are always important for they set the stage for everything that follows. This means that the beginning of your day matters. I like to spend time in the early morning in prayer or quiet meditation. During my drive in, if I am driving, I like to listen to Baroque music or Gregorian chants which give me a deep sense of calm. This moves me into a level of focus that helps my morning productivity. Each person is different, but beginnings are always important for whatever follows, so think about your morning ritual and see how aspects of your commute can incorporate practices that will work well for you.
- Professional Networking: First, meet whoever is sitting next to you or possibly nearby to see if that is someone to add to your professional network. For example, I am currently in a Starbucks and just met an individual working at the next table. We spoke for 15 minutes, connected professionally, and determined areas of mutual interest where each might be a resource for the other. So, depending on the day and who is there, utilize some of your commuting time for connecting with others professionally.
- Phone and Online Meetings: Depending on your specific commuting set-up, you can schedule effective phone and online meetings while you are commuting. There is one caveat here: Do NOT disturb others, so you need to be able to conduct your conversations in a way that is effective for you while also being sufficiently private so that your conversation/meeting does not reach those who are not part of your meeting/conversation.
- Professional Social Media Use: Your commuting time is just long enough for professional social media networking and professional development & learning. You can use your time to catch up with new and helpful blog posts relevant to your work. You can also do a quick LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook catch-up specifically relevant to your professional connections. This is an efficient way to stay abreast of news, topics, information, and connections. Then when you arrive at work, you are ready to dive into the job, perhaps even utilizing some tools, strategies or practices that you have just learned about.
- Personal Transitional Time on the Way Home: On your way home at the end of the day, it is excellent to explore what works best for you to mellow out, work through your day, calm down, and revitalize. For many, reading and listening to mellow music works well. For some, a short nap is helpful. Some prefer inspirational reading or audio. Just find what is best for you to coalesce your day and help you transition to your home time.
For added tips, check out the new eBook: 10 Strategies for Your Success in College. The eBook will be useful for college students, for those already in the workforce and interested in greater career success, and also for college prep secondary 8th-12th students.