My morning commute is terrible, but it’s really not that bad compared to the average Chicago commuter, who clocks 2400 minutes per month commuting. The first few days I didn’t do much besides listen to my Spotify playlist and eaves drop on the countless people staring into their iPhones and Androids. But then I realized how much time I was wasting every single day on my commute. With a little motivation and organization I started to turn my terrible commute into a tolerable one. Here’s what I did:
1. Downloaded Audiobooks – If you’re at all like me, you love the feel and procession of a physical book. Heck, I’d rather purchase Seth Godin’s Tribes hardcover for $14.97, then buy the Kindle edition or audiobook. But then I stumbled upon Audible.com , and saw how easy it was to find and download audiobooks right to my iPhone or iPod. I won’t be making the complete switch to audiobooks anytime soon but it is a great way to catch up on some books I never got around to purchase. A few favorites in my queue are:
- How To Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie
- Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In by Roger Fisher and William Ury
- The Little Red Book of Selling by Jeffrey Gitomer
2. Subscribed to Daily Podcasts – There are thousands of podcasts out there and hundreds of good ones. I scoped out a couple of business/sales ones and subscribed. They do a good job of getting my ideas flowing before I enter the office. Also, I get daily podcasts directly on my phone every morning without having to waste time searching for them. A few of my favorites:
- The Sales Playbook by Paul Castain
- Inspiring Words of Encouragement by Zig Ziglar
- Harvard Business Review Podcast
3. Download Wunderlist – It’s best to step foot into the office and understand your goals for the day. You want to understand what needs to be worked on and what needs to be accomplished. It’s one of the worst feelings to walk in and head directly to a meeting having no idea what’s going on. I was recommended Wunderlist from Josh at Base and have really grown to find it useful. If you’re the type of person that likes to keep a list of items to accomplish and cross them off when finished, Wunderlist is for you. Download the app and organize your day on your commute before you step through your office doors.
4. Streamed TED Videos – I always like to tell myself I’ve listened to all of them but then I somehow run into instant classics that I haven’t watched before. I like to believe TED is still an entertaining, great way to educate yourself on various topics. A few of my favorites:
- Are we in control of our own decisions – Dan Ariely
- Learning from dirty jobs – Mike Rowe
- Choice, happiness and spaghetti sauce – Malcolm Gladwell
5. Deleted the Facebook App – I’ll be the first to admit I’ve wasted many hours on Facebook. And maybe there is a time and place for a quick timeline search but I think we can agree it’s not a productive source of means. The average amount of time a person uses Facebook per month equals 15 hours, 33 minutes. Delete the app and keep on reminding yourself it’s just a waste of time.
6. Stopped Playing Mobile Games – Next time you’re on the train and bus take a look around at the people on their phones. I guarantee at least one is playing a game. Whether it be Candy Crush, DoddleJump or AngryBirds, just delete them. Did you know Candy Crush earns approximately $800k per day! PER DAY! Maybe a job as an iOS developer doesn’t sound too bad.
7. Organized my music playlist before the commute – How many times have you sat down on your commute, put your headphones on and opened up your music app only to take 10 minutes to pick a song for the ride. Well, I’ve done this several times. Take a good hour in the evening, download some new songs (legally), create a playlist or even pay for Spotify. It’s well worth the money.
8. Reviewed the Sales Dashboard – If you’re a CEO, VP of Sales, sales manager or even a sales rep you know a mobile CRM is worth the talk. Log-in and review where you or your team stands before walking in the door. It’s just a good way to warm up your brain and prepare you for the day ahead.
9. Did nothing – Maybe one of the best things to do when heading home or to the office is to do nothing. Clear your mind. This can decrease stress and improve productivity once you arrive at your destination.
If you have some more advice please share below. I’d like to keep this post bookmarked for future reference.