Professional Development

Making the most out of your commute

How do you get to where you need to go everyday?

Chances are that you  drive a car to work. And depending on where you live, it might take you quite a while to get there.

I’ve had the opportunity to use a few different modes of transportation over the past three years alone: car as the single driver, bus, walking, car as a carpooler, and subway with the (in)famous Washington Metro. All clearly have emotional, economic, and environmental advantages and disadvantages. Sometimes we have a choice in what mode we use in our commute, and sometimes we don’t. (Right now, my options are limited to the Metro subway or bus. Advantages and disadvantages.)

In any case, we all need to use your commute to your benefit.

Of course I mean “benefit” in broad terms.

I identify as an achiever (not to be confused with the dismissive teeth of “over-achiever”). This blog is made up of posts I drafted on my commute home, but I’m not at it everyday. Some days I feel the need to read a book or a magazine article or a piece of vapid celebrity gossip. On other days I need to allow myself to sit and look out the window — I’m quite fortunate to live on a metro line that mostly runs above ground for my leg of the trip.

Public transportation affords a ton of ways to relax or do something productive of our creative. You could read a novel, study a language, doodle, make plans, draft messages to those people in your life.

I commute via public transportation, so I can divert my attention in ways I couldn’t do while driving. But if you do drive a car to and from work, this time doesn’t have to be wasted.

Do you have a job that necessitates soothing music in order to transition to the home phase of your life? Do you enjoy and look forward to listening to the radio: talk, NPR, the somewhat unpredictable quality of the typical station? Could you be listening to podcasts?

Your commute is a potentially valuable time of day that can help you reach your goals… Or at the very least, unwind. What can you do differently so that your commute with benefit you?

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