Be More Effective – Week 14: Don’t Waste your Commute

We spend many hours every week at work. For most office workers it’s 40-60 hours. Side note: folks who tell you they work more are most likely just showing off or they add a lot of inefficient time to their workdays. That is a huge chunk of our lives. We better make it count!

Step one is to make your commute count. I don’t know for you, but for me that’s another 2-3 hours on top of my work day. Every day.

Make your commute count. Triage your email, get on top of your calendar. Listen to a good audio book or to NPR. Call your parents at least once a week.

If you ride your bike to work, you can skip ahead to the next tip. You already make your commute count – you do something good for your health.

Kudos if you use the train and bus and board it early enough to secure a seat. Instead of checking Facebook, get your laptop and do some email triage. That takes time but usually doesn’t require too much deep focus. You might as well get it done before you even enter the office. Sort your calendar, get ahead of things. Know what’s coming and be aware of the fires that await you as soon as you approach your desk.

If you need to drive yourself (like I do), listen to a good audiobook. Learn something new while your mind is still fresh, empty and ready to take something in, instead of being distracted by a hundred things shouting for your attention. Don’t listen to the local radio station or the comedy show. Check out NPR podcasts or pick a good audio book.

If you don’t want to listen to a book, call your parents. They will appreciate it and years down the road you will be glad you did take the time to call them. Make it a point to do this at least once a week. Call them while you commute so you don’t have any excuse to not do it.

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