How To Make The Most Out Of Your Commute To Work

Posted May 15, 2019, by Michelle Marshall
getting the train to work

Commutes to and from work can be a massive drain on your time and energy. According to a study compiled by Global Positioning Specialists Australians are losing around 6% of their annual salaries in their commute alone.  

But if you shift your mindset, you can make those minutes (or sometimes even hours) count. Use this time to work on yourself in one way or another. How? We’ve come up with some productive ways to help you make the most of your commute time that will enhance your life and career.  

Treasure And Plan Your Commute Time

So the first thing we recommend is to divvy up how you plan to use your commute time.  Spend some of it focused on work-related efforts and the rest on personal efforts. For example, you could allocate your morning commute to your career development, and the evening commute focused on your personal life.  Splitting this time will help you to keep your work/life balance checked and make your commute a little more enjoyable.

Here are some of the ways that you can make the most out of your commute.

Get Inspired

Use your commute to get inspired personally or professionally.  Read blogs (like this awesome one ) or listen to inspiring podcasts or talks.   

Work On Your Personal or Career Development

Use your commute to upskill with an online course that will help you level up your career. The long train or bus ride in could be the perfect opportunity to log on and catch up on the latest online tutorial or that paper you need to read. 

Get Organised

Plan that party, schedule catch ups your friends and family, pay bills, write your meal plans, write your shopping lists, wish lists and to do lists. If you are driving use the time to make calls – hands-free of course.

Catch Up On Your Industry News

Who gets the time to really concentrate on industry media and podcasts and then do something about what they’ve learned.  Most people don’t, and many people struggle to retain all of the information they hear when they don’t really have to. Get yourself ahead of the game and actively catch up on your industry news then use the information to help you advance in your career.

Read Books That Help You Grow

Knowledge is power.  And books are convenient travelling companions.  No matter what your intention is, there will be a book and a book format to suit your needs.

Tip!  If you are travelling by train set your alarm to remind you to check back into reality every now and again, so you don’t miss your stops.

Learn a New Skill

Whether it’s Photoshop, editing, drawing, or even the theory about pretty much anything, there are so many things that you can learn to do online and some of them you could even practice too.

Reflect and Grow

Keep a journal as you commute, reflect on your goals and accomplishments  – and your challenges and vices too! Use it to de-stress, learn more about yourself, work out new ways of being, thinking or doing.  

A commute is a great way to remind yourself to keep up a journal too, and a journal might be the perfect way to avoid stress at work!  


Listen to meditations, or relaxing apps or music, colour in an adult colouring book – if that’s something you’ll enjoy and use your commute to get yourself into the work zone, or unwind.


We work hard at work and at home, life is fast-paced and challenging. So why not take some guilt-free time out (or allocate one commute) entirely for pure joy.  Watch a funny video, shop online or listen to your favourite music. 

What To Do If You Are Driving Long Distance.

driving to work

This is the best time to listen to motivational or educational talks, like Ted Talks or other inspirational content.  Podcasts are also good for long distance drives and provide all sorts of content from entertainment, to development to stories.  

You could also use a voice recorder and dictate your ideas or inspiration as you drive.  

Don’t Leave Things To The Last Minute

It’s probably worthwhile not to save time specific projects with impending deadlines for your commute though just in case you miss out or a seat, overcrowding or something happens to disrupt your normal routine.  It’s best to allocate specific and focused time to this when you know that you won’t be interrupted.  So there you have it.  If you were finding your commute boring you now have plenty of ways for you to make the most of it.  All of which will help you level up your life. After all, one small step in the right direction every day makes a bigger difference than no steps at all, and your commute time is the perfect time to do just that.

Michelle Marshall

AIM Business School
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