AIU Blog

The AIU blog shares ideas, information and tips aimed at helping you get ahead personally and professionally, with topics ranging from online learning success to career development.

5 Things You Can Accomplish During Your Commute

Apps for Productivity

These days, everyone is crunched for time, whether you’re a working professional, a parent, a student or all three. If you’re looking to make the most of every minute, you might be overlooking one more opportunity to get things done: your daily commute. Whether you take the subway or hop in the car, there are ways to remain productive while on the road. Consider these five opportunities your pathway to a productive commute.

  1. Get your juices flowing.
  2. There’s no better time than during a morning commute to ready your mind for the day ahead. If you take the train, read a business book or a sales report. If you’re behind the wheel, brainstorm, mentally prepare for a meeting, or practice your sales pitch out loud. Don’t worry about looking weird – it’s unlikely you’re not alone.

  3. Learn something new.
  4. Part of excelling means understanding you’re never done learning. After all, knowledge expands your horizons. So, during moments spent traveling from point A to point B, listen to a podcast about a topic you enjoy or want to learn more about. If you’re a student in an online degree program, take advantage of this time to listen to a class lecture.

  5. Think about what you need, not what others need from you.
  6. Julie Morgenstern, author of “Never Check Email in the Morning” (Touchstone, 2005) advises against checking email when you’re on your way to work. The reason? It revolves around what people need from you, not what you need to prepare yourself for what lies ahead. And that doesn’t put you in the right state of mind.

  7. Chill out.
  8. Let’s face it: commuting can be a stressful affair – especially when traffic comes into play. Finding ways to remain calm and reduce aggravation helps your brain function better, improves troubleshooting capabilities and increases productivity. Mediation and breathing exercises can make all the difference in the world, according to Mandy Ingber, celebrity yoga instructor and author of “Yogalosophy: 28 days to the Ultimate Mind-Body Makeover” (Seal Press, 2013). Even if you can’t meditate because you’re driving, you can employ the use breathing techniques.

  9. Get some "me time."
  10. When life wears you down, it’s important to replenish yourself. And while taking time to yourself during a commute may seem counterintuitive to productivity, the reality is recharging your batteries makes you better and more efficient at work. It's a great time to take a step back from family, educational and professional responsibilities because you’re refreshed and not bogged down by other things. Listen to an audio book – or read a paperback if you're on the train.

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