How to make the most out of your daily commute to work

Say your train or bus ride to work takes 30 minutes one way. That means in a working week of five days, you spend 5 hours on the road. In one year of 50 hypothetical weeks of work, you are spending 250 hours in total to and from work. Breaking that down into 8 hour days, that's 31.25 days on the road. One month of time.

So what are you doing on these train rides to make the most of your time? Are you sleeping? Are you gazing out the window? Are you playing games on your phone? Or are you doing something useful?

Here are a few things you can do to make the most out of your daily commute to gain back that time which disappears right under your eyes.

Recap yesterday

Did you know it takes 20 minutes to switch on and between tasks? 20 minutes of your time, just to adjust to your work environment. Here at StartCon, we’re not about pointing out problems without a solution, so here’s our efficiency hack. In the last fifteen minutes of your ride, think about what you last worked on and where you’re gonna pick off once you arrive at work. Then, on your walk to work, start visualising a mini list of things to do as soon as you sit down and once you’re there, do it.

Set that day’s goals

Ask anyone in the startup space and they will tell you it’s about the small goals which get you to the big stage. Setting out the goals you want to achieve in that day with a To Do List or Goal Sheet will ensure you know exactly what you need to do. By planning it out before you get to work, you can thoughtfully and strategically map out your tasks in priority to achieve maximum efficiency, before you even reach the office.

Schedule things

With people to meet and things to tick off, your day may get pretty frantic. Being able to create a schedule before you dive into tasks with no plan is essential for efficiency between tasks, keeping you on track yet allowing you to be flexible with your daily ‘runsheet’. Even somewhat knowing how your day will run allows you to fit different bits and pieces into your day, completing the puzzle.

Get smarter

There's not much time beyond work to dedicate to yourself. We all have commitments but growing yourself and your skills are so so important. If only you had time! Wait a sec, isn't this blog about making the most out of your daily commute to work? What a coincidence!

Here's a few things to inspire you:

  • Learn to code (easier said than done, but you'll get there!)
  • Test your brain - Brain teasers, solve a Rubix cube, complete a crossword puzzle

  • Read up on your industry and understand the new trends and use this information to your advantage before it becomes common knowledge

Meditate and relax

More than often, work gets overwhelming. More than often, life gets overwhelming too. We all need those moments to just refocus and to gather our thoughts again. On the way to work, close your eyes, pop a nice chill tune on and just relax. Of course, this is also easier said than done, but take a few moments out of your day to just think about nothing. Enjoy the hum of conversations in the background, the soft taps of fingers against phone screens, the low rumble of the train gliding across the tracks. Just escape this ball of stress and find calmness. Don’t go into work with negativity hanging over you. Remember, new day, new slate.

Read

CEO of Berkshire Hathaway worth $73.7 billion, Warren Buffett, spends 80% of each day reading. Reading is so powerful in this time and age because everything is so accessible. With cellular data and nothing to do for a good half an hour, your commute to work could turn from a waste of time into a learning experience. Read anything - books on how to grow traction for your startup, the news, fiction. Keep your mind thirsty for more knowledge and a desire to absorb all that the world’s got to offer.


We’re not saying to do this every day. We know those days when you just want to sleep and think about nothing on the way to work. But when you can, take these ideas into consideration to really utilise your time wisely. Remember, work hard now and the future will be easier. Delay gratification and take the world by the horns every chance you get. Success doesn’t wait for you. You've got to chase it.

Inspired? Come to StartCon this year to hear more advice from speakers who are leaders in their industry. Grab your tickets below!