“I am not what was happened to me. I am what I choose to become.” – Carl Jung
How do you commute to office – office cab, taxi, driving your own, crowded local train, bus, metro train etc.? Well, the list is long. What is common that we spend lot of time commuting to office and returning home. Irrespective of what we do time flies and flies fast. According to a survey from paycheck people in the USA and Europe enjoy shortest time on the way to work. To check average commute time in US cities follow the link and hover over your city: Know the average commute time of your city. On the other hand on an average commuter in countries like India, Sri Lanka, Indonesia etc. spend around 3 to 4 hours a day or 15-20 hours a week getting from home to work and then back. I usually spend 120-150 minutes on daily basis in commute. Most of the time we see people waste this huge amount of time being busy doing nothing.
Well, there are many productive and constructive ways we can utilize this time. Here are 10 best ways we can spend our time commuting to office.:
Make a to do list:
“He who every morning plans the transactions of that day and follows that plan carries a thread that will guide him through the labyrinth of the most busy life.” ― Victor Hugo
Make a list of things you would like work on today. We spend too much time on planning and still miss on things. It’s good you make a list of things and mark it with priority level. Just tick them off once completed. The plan gives you a good overview of how the day will pan out.
Read your email:
If you have access to your office email read them. It will give you ideas and time to articulate drafting your email reply to many overnight emails you received. If you got a seat to settle down you can draft your email or write down some important items/ideas you would like to touch upon. It saves lot of time in thinking. Read your personal email so that it does not prompt you to check your personal email in office. If you have access to internet you can actually reply to your emails. With internet prices falling heavily organization can consider installing Wi-Fi in office cab. Employees can volunteer to work during these unproductive hours.
Develop a skill:
Everyone wants to learn something new or develop an existing skill. Do you spend some time to do it? Learning sketching, a recipe or develop your public speaking skills, management skill etc. lots of things. In a world when every second developer friend is launching their own app it’s almost impossible not to have app to help you learn or develop your skill. Install the app and listen or watch it to learn and practise. Wikihow, eHow, instructable, BigOven,TED etc. are some good apps you can try to learn something quickly.
Read a book or blog:
When did you read something last time? Answer sounds to ancient times. Reading not only helps us in increasing our knowledge, vocabulary, memory and concentration but also helps us better managing stress. If you don’t feel comfortable carrying a hardcopy of book there are ample free ebook apps. Kindle and Google play books are just beginning. Why not read a quick blog. Some good try can be – allthingsworkplace.com, curiouscat, leadershipfreak, linkedin articles etc.
Call someone you would like to talk:
Do not our friends often accuse us for not picking up the call or calling them back. Try to call back people you missed to pick up the call for an important meeting. Relationship are important in life. Talk to someone who you enjoy talking with; who cheers you up. Talk to your mom, your dad, a friend you have not spoken for a while.
Watch your favorite TV show or a movie:
Do you go home and spend lot of time watching your favorite TV shows? Have you ever thought you can actually utilize your commuting time to watch these shows and earn the same time to investment with your family instead? Youtube’s offline mode is a great resource we can exploit. We can also live stream, watch recorded episodes or download within the app in HotStar, JioTV, A&E (cable subscription), AT&T U-verse Live TV (subscription required) etc.
Play a game:
It is found in many researches that playing video or online games makes our mind sharper and mentally more active. These games come with various levels or missions to be accomplished in limited time. This helps not only in learning about time management but helps in taking faster decisions too. Who has not played games like Angry Birds, Temple Run, Candy Crush (better remembered for annoying requests in Facebook), racing games, cricket games, Farmville, Pokeman Go, etc. Many times see people playing online games like golf, pool, ludo, various sniper, fighting and survivor games and glued to their mobile.
Learn a new language:
Learning a new language has multiple benefits. It’s not necessary that you learn French when you’re booking your tickets for Paris. Researchers found multilingual speakers are more creative than monolingual speakers. Simply learning phrases like hello, please, thank you, sorry, where is, how much, help in local languages will not only make your experience better but can work as survival phrases.
Take a nap:
“I like to keep myself physically and mentally fit before any important match. I usually take a short nap just before the game and do not practice immediately before the tournament.” – Viswanathan Anand
Power napping allows your brain to create the loose associations necessary for creativity and opens the way for a fresh burst of new ideas. Power naps are productive. It restores your concentration power and you feel more alert and charged up. It’s better to take a power nap than be in an important meeting inattentive.
None of these things work for you and it is difficult to surf online while driving? Connect your phone via Bluetooth or an aux cable. You can use TED videos as audio files. Just click on listen instead of play. There are multiple effective podcasts available online. Entrepreneur On Fire, Player FM, Talking HR, HR Happy Hour, SoundCloud, Podcast and Radio Addict, TuneIn Radio etc. are a few. Some of these blogs are not yet available on android however can be heard via regular browser surfing.
What do you do or what works best for you? Please tell us more in comments section.
About Faruk Rahman
Faruk has over 11 years of experience and has worked with organizations like Aon Hewitt, IBM Daksh Business Process Services Pvt. Ltd & Ex Cell IT. Faruk holds a PGDHRM from Symbiosis institute of Management Studies.