ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

8 Ways to Improve Your Productivity by Using Your Commute More Effectively

Updated on July 15, 2012
Waiting, waiting, and more waiting.
Waiting, waiting, and more waiting. | Source

Time Management Ninja has an article entitled 5 Ways to Time Manage your Commute where they offer the suggestions:

· Make use of it.

· Time Shift to Save Time

· Skip the Commute Sometimes

· Alternate Mode of Transportation

· Get a new commute

As a person who would commute between one and three hours one-way each day in the past, I have tried four of the five. While time shifting is often effective, and skipping the commute is an option for some times but not always, the main thing I have focused on was how I could make use of my commute to be more effective.

With a little planning it is easy to make even a three hour commute go quickly and be productive.

Below are eight suggestions on how to use your time more effectively during your commute:

Disclaimer: Always use hands free and pay attention to the road conditions. Many of the suggestions only work if you are carpooling or sitting in stopped traffic (as I do crossing from Mexico to the US). Use common sense, be safe, and do not text or read and drive!

1. If you work with people in multiple time zones, commute time may be ideal for follow-up calls. I live in the Central Time Zone so I use my morning commute to follow-up with co-workers on the east coast and I use my evening commute to follow-up with co-workers on in the Mountain and Pacific Time zones.

2. Listening to books on tape or MP3s is a great way to stay up to date on the latest books when you have a lot of windshield time. I have tried to take it a step further and tested a product called Text2Go that allowed me to convert volumes of written documents for work into MP3 files so I could listen to long e-mails and proposals on my commute. Both are effective uses of time but I certainly find that it is more effective to catch up on work that needs to be done anyway.

3. Print material for the commute that you can read and edit along the way. This is especially effective if you are carpooling or know you will be stopped for a larger portion of the commute.

4. Purchase an e-reader (affiliate link to Kindle on Amazon) and load it up with books and personal documents or use your smartphone of choice with the free Kindle application. Kindle is just one example of these types of devices but I am of the opinion they are all well worth the investment for a road warrior.

5. "Reach our an touch someone" was a tagline used but AT&T during the 1980's but the idea remains very alive today—the commute time could be a great time to call friends and family and reconnect. Sometimes reinforces your personal relationships will be more effective than getting work done.

6. Consider personal errands that may be portable, like offline bill paying, getting insurance quotes or even negotiating the purchase of a car! I actually lined up test drives, preapproved financing, and effectively completed most of the purchase paperwork via telephone when I was in the market for a car. Compared to an in person purchase a couple years later it took less than half the time to complete the purchase because I was able to have the dealer do all the leg work and haggling over the phone before I would even step foot in their store. I consider this type of use of my time doubly effective!

7. If your commute will often be done on a mass transit or carpooling consider purchasing a data plan that allows you to tether your phone (my personal preference) or a data card to allow you to get online during the commute time. Having easy access to online resources may actually allow you to work shift your way into making your commute as effective as your time in the office.

8. If you are carpooling, consider doing so with workmates that you are frequently working on projects with. You can use the time to do opening or closing meetings am make each of your time more effective.

With a little ingenuity and understanding of the tasks you need to complete, you can turn your commute from a time sink into productive time.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)