Making the Most of a Long Commute

Published Monday, April 02, 2012 8:34 PM

Long commute got you down? You're not alone. The average American commutes almost 50 minutes a day says the Census Bureau. And the number of "super-commuters," who live far outside a metropolitan area, but commute in for work is growing fast.

Commuting isn't fun, virtually everyone agrees. In fact Time Magazine  last year ran a health piece called Why Commuting Sucks the Life Out of You  which cited all sorts of depressing statistics including the fact that couples facing long commutes have higher divorce rates than those without.

While long commutes, often in crowded conditions, will never make anyone's list of a good time, we've rounded up some tips to make commuting more bearable and perhaps even productive.

Finish up Work: Technology means commuting time can be used to finish up work that might otherwise cut into home time. Laptops let you send emails, proof reports or read documents. Bluetooth technology allows for hands-free meetings from inside your car.

Get to that Book: Reading is probably one of the most popular commuting pastimes and e-books, read on the slim iPad or e-readers, makes reading even the weightiest tome manageable. Car commuters can get in the action with audio books. Or collect useful articles in your e-reader for subway or train perusal.

Advance Your Career: Use your commute time to fit networking into your busy schedule. Update your LinkedIn profile; send networking e-mails to industry contacts and schedule future lunch and drinks dates with peers. Keep abreast of industry trends by reading useful articles or listening to podcasts. If you commute in the car, use your hands-free device to schedule calls with your mentors.

Scheme, Daydream: Downtime is a rare commodity. While you may not have chosen a long commute, you're stuck with it, so make the most of the idle hour to let your mind wander. Keep a notebook handy or download a note-taking app on your smart phone to jot down any inspiration that strikes.

Unwind: Can't find time to get to that crossword puzzle? Squeeze in a nap? Download that new album and play it from start to finish? You're in luck - you're commute provides a window of time to devote to the little leisure pursuits that you enjoy. Hey, it's not 18-holes of golf but it's a start!

How do you make the most out of your commute? Share your thoughts here and on the Pendaflex Facebook page.

 

 

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