You’d be hard-pressed to find people who genuinely love commuting to work. Most just endure their journeys because they know there’s no other option.
If you can relate, rest assured there’s no need for your commute to feel like complete drudgery.
In fact, you can use that time to become a better person.
Keep reading to learn how…
1. Mentally Sort Out the Day’s Responsibilities
Statistics indicate 89 percent of workers waste time at the office by taking part in non-work activities.
Some of that time might be used up on activities that aren’t truly related to work, such as chatting with coworkers by the water cooler or checking in on Facebook notifications.
However, some time-wasters may have trouble getting into the work mindset because they’re unsure which tasks to tackle first.
Instead of just diving into responsibilities head-first, they use minutes or even hours planning or prioritizing their task lists.
Enable yourself to start working as soon as you arrive at the office by mentally making a task list and prioritizing items that need completing.
By using part or all of your commute to do that, you should find you’re not under as much pressure.
Once you get to the office, people will likely start pulling your attention in all directions, but when you’re confined to a car or other mode of transportation, your time is still mostly your own.
The more you create mental to-do lists, the easier it’ll be to continually improve your work output because you’ll know precisely which tasks to start first.
2. Learn a New Language
Maybe you’re headed to a foreign place for a vacation soon, and still don’t know even the most basic phrases in the native tongue.
If that’s true, devote your commute to expanding your linguistic skills.
Many manufacturers offer language-learning materials in MP3 or CD format, so they work well for listening in the car.
Even if you see no practical need to learn a new language, there are numerous reasons why doing so is good for your brain.
Researchers have found that, compared to people who only speak one language, individuals who are at least bilingual tend to have better memories, find it easier to switch between tasks quickly and demonstrate better listening skills.
3. Practice Mindfulness
Driving is the most stressful way to commute, but even if you get into the car every day and head to work, there are things you can do to avoid feeling frazzled upon arrival.
One of them is mindfulness.
People often misunderstand mindfulness and think it’s about emptying the mind and entering a hypnotic state.
In reality, mindfulness is based on being present, rather than thinking about the past or future.
That’s the safest state of mind when behind the wheel, because it could help you stay alert.
Mindfulness may also encourage a healthier perspective that carries over into your work.
When practicing mindfulness in the car, start by simply being more aware of the things you hear, see and feel.
You could even add gratitude to this practice by realizing how thankful you are for seemingly simple things – like the feeling of warm sunshine on your skin, or the fact that you can travel to work inside a warm car on a cold winter day, rather than walking.
4. Listen to an Inspiring Podcast
A podcast could offer a great pre-work soundtrack, especially if you choose one delivered by someone you look up to in your industry.
Data shows 21 percent of people listen to podcasts, which is the same percentage of individuals who use Twitter.
Realizing how popular podcasts are, many notable figures in the worlds of business, self-help and pop culture regularly release podcasts.
By listening to one of them on your way to work, you could gain words of wisdom to help you feel more positive and informed.
5. Set Goals
Maybe your commute has you feeling so frustrated you’ve nearly had enough, or perhaps frequently find yourself thinking – “There’s got to be more to life than this!”.
In those cases, set goals during your commute that could take you from where you are to where you want to be.
Americans spend approximately 42 hours stuck in traffic each year, so you may as well use some of those hours to figure out what you can do to make life more bearable.
It should be clear that your commute doesn’t need to be wasteful, and could even be wonderful if used well.
Change your mindset about getting to work, and start using the time to your advantage and become a better person.
How To Practice Self Improvement During Your Drive to Work:
- Create a mental to do list.
- Consider learning a new language.
- Practice mindfulness.
- Listen to an inspiring podcast.
- Set goals that matter
Have a question? Share your thoughts!