I’ve been fortunate most of my life not to have to commute more than 25 minutes. However, there are plenty of people who spend large chunks of their life getting to and from their daily grind – which I imagine is pretty sucky.
When posed with the question “How can someone with a long, hellish work commute each day best utilize that time more productively?”, these 18 Reddit users shared their advice.
It may be important to mention, some of these should not be attempted unless you are the passenger…
Call your mom. My husband has a long daily commute and calls his mother every afternoon on the drive home. She’s a widow, doesn’t speak much English, and she’s pretty isolated. That daily call from her son means the world to her.
Driving? Listen to informative podcasts.
Not driving? Read a book.
Learn a second language?
There’s a really good app called Duolingo. I always plan on getting back into it, but never do
4. Just Move
Do whatever it takes to eliminate the commute. Move if you need to, no excuses. Make it your goal and dont let anything stop you. Nothing is more soul sucking and robs you of your finite life than sitting in a car in goddam traffic every day.
Write. One page a day gives you 300 pages a year. That’s one book. Keep it up, and, one day, you might pen a bestseller and never have to work again. Writing pays very little until it pays a lot.
I would keep a small notebook and during my bus commutes back home, I would write down ideas for things, upcoming events, finance plans, monthly goals, home or car repair plans, shopping lists, etc. It was a nice way to unwind from school since my morning commute was usually refreshing my brain for a quiz or lecture. It helped me connect with myself, writing small poems or just reflecting on the weather or surroundings.
I would suggest conducting meetings from the car if possible. Being able to call into a bridge from the car and talk with people can shift boring meeting time in the office to the car where you were going to be stuck anyway, freeing up the time in the office for more productive work.
8. Bright Smile
Used to apply teeth whitening strips just before beginning the hour-long drive home from work. Then I wasn’t sitting around home with them on when I wanted to be doing other things.
Edit: clarifying mode of transport
Formulate a rock solid case for telecommuting and devise a presentation.
10. Side Hustle
I work on my side hustle. I ride the train and have a laptop set up so that I can use the hour productively even though there’s no wifi.
NPR makes my drive much more bearable because i end up getting mad and screaming at what i’m hearing instead of traffic.
12. This is solid advice
If your still in school, listen to lecture recordings, if not in school, listen to podcasts that are interesting to you
13. Build it up
Late to the party, but I drive a ton for work. If I have calls I need to make, I usually let them build up and I make as many as I can from the road. Makes the driving time fly by.
14. Quiet time
I personally like to enjoy the silence. No radio, windows rolled up to drown out traffic somewhat. Just sit and enjoy the silence by yourself. reflect on life. figure shit out. It’s almost meditative for me.
15. Math Skills
While driving I try to multiply or add the numbers on the license plates around me.
16. Work mode
Use the time to get into and out of work mode. I talk through whatever issues I’m having on my way home so I can concentrate on my family instead of whatever pissed me off at work that day.
You could use the time to think of a way to use the skills you’ve learned at your current job to start earning money for yourself, instead of your boss.
No more hellish commute if you can earn money at home in your underpants!
18. Road rage
I tend to sit, stewing in my own homicidal road rage, screaming at people, gesticulating in disapproval at other people’s lane discipline while trying not to give myself a brain aneurysm.
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