WORKPLACE / NOV. 28, 2015
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Why Your Morning Commute Is the Most Important Part of Your Workday

Just say the word “commute” and you’re bound to start cringing or even crying. No matter how you get to the office – by car, bus, train, or on foot – your morning is 100 percent the most stressful and chaotic part of your day. You have to deal with crowds, traffic, and psyching yourself up for yet another day at the office with your annoying coworkers. But what if it didn’t have to be this way? What if it was actually possible to enjoy your commute and have it be a meaningful and useful part of your day? Read on to find out why your morning commute is the most important part of your workday.

See Also: How to Make Yourself Love Mornings for Career Success

1. You Can De-Stress

Your commute is stressful. There are no two ways about it. But that doesn’t mean you can’t take control and learn how to deal with your stress. Whether you’re sitting in traffic or in a crowded subway car, you should be using this time to meditate. Many people start their days this way the moment they get out of bed, sitting cross-legged on their bedroom floor, and closing their eyes and thinking about literally nothing for 15-20 minutes.

You know you’re not going to do that – it’s okay, you can admit it. You’re basically on the go from the moment your alarm goes off, trying to eat a healthy breakfast, wondering where you put those important work notes, etc. But your commute is basically wasted time if you don’t use it to set your mind up for your busy day. Download a meditation app to help you along if you need some guidance, help, or motivation. You won’t regret it, and your commute will be a much more peaceful affair. Wouldn’t that be awesome?

2. You Can Get Any Busywork Done

Not even dream jobs are super perfect, and there are always going to be aspects of your position that you absolutely hate. For most people, it’s dealing with the constant stream of emails (seriously, do people ever stop sending emails?!) and organizing their time. Your morning commute is the perfect time to get organized for the upcoming workday and do all the stuff you hate before you even walk in your office door. This is totally possible if you walk to work or take the subway or bus. It’s also easy to do if you drive since there’s always so much traffic, which will give you the prime opportunity to answer some emails. You’re just sitting there and doing nothing but cursing at the other drivers, after all. You might as well get something done.

3. You Can Think About How You Feel

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When we’re fresh out of college, it’s hard to imagine that we could get so caught up in the stress of our daily lives at the office and at home that we would lose sight of our biggest career dreams. But, unfortunately, that’s what happens to most of us. You don’t have enough time when you’re actually at the office to think about where you are, how you feel about your current position, and whether you want your boss’ job (hey, it could happen… someday). Why not use your commute for thinking about your goals and where you want to be? Who knows, you could come up with a brilliant career plan and put it in motion that very day.

4. You Can Get a Head Start on Your Work

Pitching a new idea to a client? Meeting with your boss for your annual performance review? Finishing up a massive project? Whatever your day’s most pressing task, you can use your morning commute to get a head start. You won’t believe how much you’re actually going to enjoy your commute once you start seeing it as just another hour in your workday.

5. You Can Connect Socially

Working can be pretty lonely if you hate your coworkers, and your boss is pretty mean. If you use your morning commute to stay in touch with your friends and family – texting on the subway or bus, calling if you’re walking or in the car (put it on speaker and pay attention to the road!) – you’ll be much happier once you arrive at your desk. There’s more to life than just working like a dog, after all, and friends are actually good for your health. Your boss usually gives you the evil eye when you call your mom on your lunch break, so you might as well do it in the morning instead.

6. You Can Listen to a New Podcast Every Week

Podcasts are all the rage right now thanks to hits like Serial. Podcasts are great because they’re a form of entertainment that’s both fun and educational. Your commute will never feel boring ever again if you embrace podcasts. As a bonus, you’ll have super interesting break room conversations with your coworkers, and you’ll learn something, too.

7. You Can Problem-Solve

You know how people always say to “sleep on it” when you’re going through something rough or dealing with a tricky issue? You can follow that same advice by working through any problems you’re having during your morning commute. This works whether they’re related to your job or your personal life. If something’s going wrong at the office, you can figure out what to do about it and march into your boss’ office with some ideas once you get there. If it’s personal drama, you can work it out and arrive at the office with a clear mind. You never want to let your personal life interfere with work, so this will be helpful.

8. You Can Try Biking to Work

Once just a rite of passage for little kids, riding a bike is now super cool and trendy. Lots of people commute to the office by bike and you can try it, too. You might not love being right there on the street with all the cars in rush hour – but then again, you might find it thrilling. It’s also a great way to get some exercise in before you start your crazy, busy day, and that’s always a good thing.

9. You Can People Watch

You don’t have to be sitting in a fancy café in Paris or New York City to people watch. You can do the same thing on your morning commute however you get to the office. You never know when inspiration will strike and your city streets or subway car are going to be filled with all kinds of interesting people. If anything, this will be entertaining and a lot more fun than worrying about work. Don’t forget that joy is an important part of the workday, not just being super productive.

See Also: Top 10 Reasons to Have a Morning Routine

Sick and tired of a stressful morning commute? So are the rest of us. The way you usually commute – staring at your iPhone and willing the time to go faster, getting annoyed with all the strangers around you – isn’t exactly working, so you might as well make a change. Take back your morning commute with these helpful and easy tips, and get to the office with a smile on your face. You’re going to be working for a long time, so you might as well start enjoying your mornings.

How do you make use of your time during your morning commute? Share your tips and tricks with us in the comments section below!

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