10 Ideas to Maximize the Value of Your Commute
Alt Title: 10 Tips to Improve Your Productivity While Commuting
As a busy executive, entrepreneur, or other professional, you probably find yourself wishing you could avoid all the wasted time you spend driving to and from the office (and the offices of your clients). The average commute time in the United States is 25 minutes each way, which may not seem like much, but over the course of a year, that adds up to more than 200 hours.
Wouldn’t you love an extra 200 hours to learn a new language, read all the books on your ever-growing list, or just get some extra time to think?
With these tips, you just might be able to.
First, consider commuting options that serve as alternatives to the traditional drive:
- Bike to work. First, you could choose to bike to work, rather than drive. As long as your work is closer than 15 miles away, and your city is reasonably bike-friendly, it should be entirely feasible. Doing this will help you avoid traffic, so ultimately the time you spend commuting is the same, but you’ll squeeze in a workout during your commute and boost your productivity with your newfound energy.
- Take public transportation. You could also opt to take public transportation, rather than driving. If your city is lagging on the public transportation front, service may be unreliable, making this a less feasible option. But for most urban dwellers, it’s an ideal situation. In most situations, taking public transportation is cheaper than owning a car, and you’ll get downtime you can use to do almost anything work-related.
- Carpool. You can also carpool with your coworkers to achieve the same effect as public transportation. You’ll need to rotate who drives, but in most cases, it will save you time and money, be more reliable than public transportation, and afford you time as a passenger that you can use to focus on tasks.
How to Maximize Driving Time
Now, let’s assume you’re like the majority of Americans, and you need or want to drive to work. Since you’ll need to keep both hands on the wheel and your eyes on the road, you may think it’s impossible to get anything productive done.
However, with the MagnetMount, you can quickly and easily mount your smartphone to your car, so you can engage with it without getting distracted from the road. With that in place, you’ll be able to engage in all these productive activities:
- Hold a conference call. As long as your device is hands-free, you can hold a conference call during your drive in. This is especially valuable if you have standing morning meetings with your team, and if your other team members are also commuting to the office. Just 15 minutes can help your team go over the day’s high-level goals and priorities, without cutting into your time at the office.
- Listen to a podcast. You can also spend this time listening to a podcast with the potential to improve your professional skills and abilities. For example, you might listen to a podcast that features interviews with successful entrepreneurs and CEOs, or one that discusses business-related topics that can help you make decisions. You may also listen to podcasts that focus on building your skills, such as strengthening your negotiating tactics or improving your strategic thinking. If you need help finding a good podcast, CIO has a great list to draw inspiration from.
- Get immersed in an audiobook. Similarly, you could use your time to listen to an audiobook. There are thousands, if not millions of books geared toward professional development. Some of them focus on helping you learn new skills, such as a new language. Others are meant to provide perspective, with historical examples of great business leaders. Still others are designed for personal development, helping you identify your weaknesses and improve upon them. In any case, you can easily get through a few chapters a day without lifting a finger—or distracting yourself from the road.
- Brainstorm aloud. If you have a note-taking app that allows you to transcribe audio notes, you can also spend some time brainstorming aloud. Working through problems and ideas for new projects with spoken words activates different sections of your brain, which can help you get to a final solution faster. And since your phone will be keeping notes the whole time, you won’t lose anything when you walk into the office.
How to Maximize Time as a Passenger
If you’re a passenger, either in the form of public transportation or as a rider in a carpool, you have an even bigger variety of tasks you can accomplish. You can even use our Finger Ring Magnetic Stand to help you accomplish them:
- Catch up on emails. There’s no better feeling than walking into the office with a clean inbox. Spending your commute reading and replying to emails can help you get caught up for the morning, and understand your priorities for the day so you can start knocking them out immediately.
- Practice your communication skills. You can also use your time as a passenger to improve your communication skills. For example, you might go over a sales pitch with your team members in a carpool situation, or chat with a stranger on the bus and work for an opportunity to give your elevator pitch.
- Get organized. Spend some time during your commute as a passenger getting organized. Depending on your preferences, this may mean sorting through your notes and task lists to create an agenda for the day, or organizing your files and emails, so they’re easier to access. A time investment now will save you hours in the future.
If you want to get started maximizing your commute, MagnetMount has a variety of products that can help you, from our basic mount model to our wireless charging magnetic mount. No matter how you’re commuting or what your needs are, we’ve got something that can make your travel time that much more productive.