Maximize Your Commute

If you are anything like me, you have career/life goals you need to build up skills for. However, you may also:

  • work some variation of a 9 to 5 that is rarely ever such
  • commute to work

I have noticed that, the more exhausted I get, the more time I waste on social media and re-listening to the same old Spotify playlists. This is a vicious cycle because then I feel:

  • less informed
  • less accomplished
  • more depressed
  • more tired

So, I have started maximizing my commute by crowding out inefficiencies.

  • Podcasts: I download any missed podcasts from the previous week to my phone on Sunday nights. In lieu of music, essentially listening to the same songs over and over and over again, I listen to podcasts on my walk to and from the train.
    • Favorites:
      • Note to Self
      • Stuff Mom Never Told You
      • Our Hen House
      • Serial
  • Learn a language: I tend to do this as soon as I get on the train platform; with any luck I get through a quiz before the train even gets there and keep my streak alive. I like Duolingo best because the sections are shorter; you can do a mini quiz everyday and over time you really begin to notice your improvements. If you don’t take the train one portal only takes a couple minutes and you can do it while your car warms up. It fits in.
    •  Options:
      • Duolingo: free, quick, interactive, desktop and mobile versions. (Note: if you predominately use the mobile app, browse the desktop site once a week to read the more in depth information)
      • Mango: requires a purchase or access through a library, desktop and mobile versions, a little slower paced.
  • Build your skillset: Over the last few years, I’ve gotten really good at something I only kind of like. I love digital but I’d love to work in a different area than I currently do. Working excessively on the job you have makes it hard to prepare for the job you want, cause, um, you need to keep your current job so that you can pay your bills. Below are two sites that I’m actively using to gain knowledge in the area I want to work in.
    • I try to fit in one video each morning and one video on the way home. The videos are well made and fairly concise, between 2 and 6 minutes. Watching a video each day, split up by time, allows you to focus because you’re not overwhelmed by too much information and lets you process the information.
  • Audiobooks: My train commute is usually too packed to read a book. Since Duolingo and Lynda require an internet connection. If I’m through my podcasts, I listen to an audiobook.
    • Overdrive: My local library allows access to this system, so hopefully yours does too. I downloaded the app to my smartphone and, after I check out a digital audiobook, I can just download it to my phone. Best part is that after the borrowing period ends, it’s automatically returned to the library without having to make a special trip.

Hoping you have a more productive new year.


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