More than 11 million of us travel to work every day, spending an average of 55 minutes getting from A to B. That’s a lot of time to sit twiddling your thumbs, which is why the most effective managers step into the office long before they reach their destination. A productive commute is the best way to start you day.
One in 10 commuters say they can’t perform their job effectively unless they work during their travels. They’re certain there aren’t enough hours in the day to get things done. But finding ways to clear your task list and increase productivity is the key to moving forwards.
Never use your commute to chip away at important goals. Instead, burn through the tasks that prevent you from reaching them. Here are four ways to get the most out of your commute.
1. Delegate to your smartphone
Task management, bookkeeping, purchase orders: they all get in the way of progress. You’re not a bureaucrat. You got into business to build a career and make a difference. But you still need to check these tasks off your list.
If you struggle to hand-off your workload, aim for the next best thing: automation. Cloud-based technology makes mobile management seamless so you can complete administrative tasks between stations.
Choose productivity apps that streamline each aspect of your working day:
- Project management – Producteev, Asana and Basecamp
- Accounting – Xero and Freshbooks
- Admin and HR – Turbine
- Sales prospecting – LinkedIn Sales Navigator
- Communication – Slack and Yammer
- Marketing and CRM – Hubspot and Salesforce
2. Plan the journey ahead
Since you’ll be on the go for the next 14 hours or more, it’s wise to know the direction you’re heading in. Setting daily goals helps you stay grounded even you’re swept off your feet.
‘If you can knock out three important tasks every day, you’re in excellent shape’, says productivity guru, Rachel Rofé. Your morning commute is the perfect time to think about which three tasks you can feasibly achieve during the rest of your working day.
Align your task list to the time you have available, and if your schedule is busy, make time where you can. If a non-vital meeting will prevent you from reaching these goals, scrap it. If your inbox bleeds into your thinking time, mute it until you’ve made progress.
3. Prioritise your work schedule
Prioritisation is key to reaching lofty goals. Multitasking costs you up to 40 percent of productive time, states research from the American Psychological Association. Rather than giving multiple tasks a fraction of your attention, prioritise one thing at a time and keep focused. When you prepare during your commute you arrive at work with a stronger idea of what you need to do.
The email landslide buries everyone. It’s how you cope with the deluge that matters. Sifting through your inbox takes around 30 percent of your entire working day. That’s more than four hours of mindless searching, sorting and sending. But what if you could prioritise this task for the start of your day and narrow that time down to one productive commute?
4. Stay in touch with your bubble
It’s easy to forget about your competitors when you’re laser-focused on your own ambitions. But knowing your industry inside out will help you carve a customer-centric niche. Use your commute to brush up on relevant trends and see the bigger picture. There are tonnes of great tools available for this purpose:
Reclaim your commute time
Remember: it is possible to get a productive commute. A few good apps and a different approach are all it takes to turn a mindless journey into a meaningful pursuit.