Career Advice

How to Make Your Daily Commute More Productive

Mark Smith Posted by Mark
min read
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This morning, circumstances prevailed upon me! Today I would normally be driving through some of Sydney's worst traffic, on my way to visit  people2people's Parramatta team in their office. The highly successful area of Western Sydney is often overlooked for business. As far as I am concerned, it's one of Australia's growth hubs. This morning, I found myself without the use of a car and having to use public transport. My initial reaction was to throw my hands in the air, but I am delighted to say that it has been a blessing in disguise. I had so much time at my disposal! 

The trip to Parramatta from the Sydney CBD on a fast train is 40 minutes. A luxurious 40 minutes which was previously unavailable to me. So here are a few ideas for those of you commuting every day on the best way to use this valuable time:

  • Clear the inbox. There are many studies on how much time email soaks up in your day. The morning and afternoon commute can give you that head start before you hit the office.

  • Quiet time. I know that in my job I am constantly interrupted in person, on the phone or online, which means it's impossible to get quiet time to simply read. It might be a proposal or report that commands your full attention. A solid 40 minutes during your commute could definitely help.

  • Social media. I know that you already read Facebook and Twitter while on the train, but why not use the time to build your personal brand? Those of you in sales or business development could schedule your tweets, build your lists and connect with prospects, all done in the comfort of your commuter seat.

  • Many professionals are required to be up to date technically. Use your commute to refresh your knowledge. Not only can you read and study, but with smart phones and headphones, you can revisit that webinar you loved or overlooked. I know that at people2people we utilise a training platform with videos and a quiz, all of which are online. The commute is the perfect time for this.

  • Having the luxury of quiet time gives you the opportunity to prepare lists. I know it sounds a little strange, but the best administrators prepare and use lists to achieve the best outcomes. Here is an example: you are an executive assistant tasked with organising the company Christmas party. Sounds easy enough, but it can be quite hard to coordinate your thoughts. Use the commute time to prepare your list. I would suggest using Onenote, Google Drive or Evernote as the best places for your online library of lists. I must say that what's even better than writing your lists is crossing things off them!

So, as I write this blog post on my unexpected commute this morning, I am revelling in having the opportunity to do so. I now see that commuter hell can also be commuter heaven; it just depends on the prism through which you look at your situation. I am going to put together another list!