How To Maximize a 30+ Minute Commute to Work


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“What’s one thing you do to maximize a 30+ minute commute to work? How does this commute activity help prepare you for the day ahead, or decompress you from the work day?”

Here’s what YEC community members had to say:

1. Prepare a To-Do List

“I prepare my to-do list while commuting to work. This gives me a head start and makes it possible for me to start working on my tasks the moment I arrive at work. I already have a game plan with me. All I need to do is dive into the action. Working on a to-do list may seem redundant, yet it is an important task of the day. It’s one of the repetitive tasks you don’t like doing but still have to do each day. By doing it while commuting to work, I can look forward to the interesting things that I need to do. It helps improve my productivity and allows me to make the most of my time at work.” ~ Jared Atchison, WPForms

2. Phone a Friend

“One thing I do to maximize my commute or any drive time between meetings etc, is to “phone a friend.” Because let’s be honest, when else do we have time to call friends!!! Depending on the connection and how I am feeling that time, the phoning a friend helps in many ways: Catchup: Catching up with friends allows me to stay connected with my personal network, ensuring I maintain strong relationships despite a busy schedule. Banter: Engaging in light-hearted banter helps me start the day with a positive mindset or unwind after a long day at work. Build Relationships: Regular conversations with friends help deepen relationships, which is essential for both personal happiness and a supportive network. Network: Staying in touch with friends and acquaintances serves as networking, providing potential opportunities for business and collaboration. Phoning a friend during the commute helps me either prepare for the day ahead with a positive attitude or decompress from the workday by sharing thoughts and experiences with someone I trust.” ~ Devesh Dwivedi, Higher Valuation

3. Take a Mental Break

“I used to take the train every morning into Boston. As an entrepreneur, I initially felt the pressure to maximize every second of my day, and so I used my 30-minute commute time to read a business book or listen to a podcast. But what I soon discovered is that the best thing I could do is to take a mental break and have some quiet time to let my brain rest. The clickety-clack of the rails made for a very serene experience. Once my day started, there was little time to take a break; some days were so hectic I barely had time for lunch. My train ride became my time to unwind. Having nothing to do but look out the window was actually very therapeutic and extremely helpful for me. The entrepreneur lifestyle can be a high-energy rollercoaster. I have found it more beneficial overall to take time, such as a morning commute, to simply do nothing; and fight the urge to constantly be efficient, which can lead to exhaustion and burnout.” ~ Thomas Minieri, Lemonade Maker®

4. Listen to Audiobooks

“On my commute home, I like to listen to audiobooks, specifically fiction. Engaging in a captivating story that’s unrelated to my job or work helps me mentally detach from the day’s stresses and unwind. This transition period is crucial for my well-being, as it refreshes my mind and spirits before I reach home. By the time I walk through the door, I feel more relaxed and rejuvenated, which ultimately improves my overall mood and readiness to enjoy my evening.” ~ Josh Kohlbach, Wholesale Suite

5. Address Redundant, Important Tasks

“I try to take care of redundant yet important tasks like replying to emails, meeting invites, and personal messages while commuting to work. This maximizes my efficiency and helps me start my day by focusing on the important things. I’m the most productive at the start of the day. And with aforesaid tasks taken care of, I am able to give my best to the next items on my to-do list and make the most of the time I have on my hands.” ~ Stephanie Wells, Formidable Forms

6. Catch Up on Email With Voice Apps

“A 30 minute (or longer) commute can give you a chance to catch up with work. I find it can be especially productive to catch up on email. If you have a long list of emails, you could read them or have Google Assistant or an app such as Speaking Email read your emails to you. This can be good if you’re driving or you don’t want to go through all that reading right before or after work. You can similarly have a report or white paper read to you. You may still need to go over some of this material later in more detail, but hearing it gives you a good overview and a head start.” ~ Kalin Kassabov, ProTexting

7. Invest in Personal Development

“One way to maximize a 30+ minute commute is by listening to podcasts or audiobooks related to personal development, industry insights, or relevant news. This activity can serve both to prepare for the day ahead and to decompress after a long work day, depending on the content chosen. In the morning, listening to industry-specific podcasts or audiobooks can provide new ideas, strategies, and inspiration that can be directly applied to your work. This approach helps set a positive and productive tone for the day, keeping you informed and motivated as you arrive at work. Returning home, opting for more relaxing or entertaining content can help shift your mind away from work-related stress. Audiobooks or podcasts focusing on storytelling, humor, or personal interests can provide a mental break, making it easier to unwind and transition into your time. If you tailor your listening choices to your needs—professional development in the morning and relaxation in the evening—you can use your commute time to enhance your productivity and well-being.” ~ Kristin Kimberly Marquet, Marquet Media, LLC

8. Bike To Work

“One thing I do to maximize my 30+ minute commute is to bike if I can. In a lot of major cities, you’ll get to work faster, get a workout in, and it’s just generally good for your health and the environment. Biking to work not only wakes me up and gets my blood flowing, but it also gives me a chance to clear my mind and think through my day ahead. The physical activity helps me feel energized and ready to tackle my tasks. On the way home, biking allows me to decompress from the workday. The fresh air and exercise help me unwind and switch off from work mode, making it easier to relax and enjoy my evening.” ~ Travis Schreiber, Erase Technologies, LLC

9. Learn about Industry Trends

“One thing I do to maximize a 30+ minute commute is listening to podcasts or audiobooks related to personal development or industry trends. This activity serves two purposes: it prepares me for the day ahead by keeping me informed and inspired, and it helps me decompress after a long workday by shifting my focus to learning and growth. Listening to insightful content during the commute transforms what could be idle time into an opportunity for continuous learning. In the morning, it energizes me and provides new ideas that I can apply to my work. In the evening, it helps me unwind by engaging my mind in something productive yet different from my daily tasks at Velvet Caviar. This routine keeps me motivated, informed, and ready to tackle the challenges of the day.” ~ Michelle Aran, Velvet Caviar

Image: Envato


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