It’s amazing how much time we spend commuting to school.
As an undergrad, I would walk for almost 30 minutes just to get to my classes.
And as a grad student, I had a 30 minute commute by car – and then another 10 minutes to find parking.
I would literally spend about an hour a day commuting back and forth to campus.
And that’s why I tried various ways to stay productive.
Here are 7 productivity tips for your daily commute:
1. Listen to audiobooks or podcasts to expand your mind.
One easy way to stay productive while driving is to simply listen to audiobooks or podcasts that interest you. Expose yourself to new ideas and new subjects. You can also polish your foreign language skills by choosing podcasts or audiobooks in that language.
- LibriVox – Free audiobooks from public domain
- Project Gutenberg – Free audiobooks in 50 different languages
- iTunes University – Free podcasts from colleges around the world
2. Review flash cards.
When I was an undergrad, my walk from my dorm room to my classes was nearly 2 miles. I spent this time reviewing flash cards for my classical Latin and Greek language courses. Here are some great websites to download flashcards:
- Flashcard Exchange – the largest database of printable flash cards
- ProProfs – Free Flash Card Maker
- Flashcard Machine – create, study and share online flashcards
3. Set your goals for the day.
Take a few minutes to think about your goals for the week. If you’re driving, you can record your goals on a digital voice recorder, or use your phone’s voice mail system.
4. Critique and proof your papers.
If you take public transportation, pull out a paper you’re working on and start proofing. Don’t just look for grammatical mistakes, but also analyze the argumentation and structure.
5. Review class notes.
It’s difficult to get any serious reading done while commuting, so that’s why skimming class notes is a great way to stay productive. This is only recommended if you walk to class or take public transportation.
6. Return phone calls and/or text messages.
If you owe anyone a phone call, then you could use this time to make phone calls. You could also take this time to call up classmates and set a time to study.
7. Practice breathing exercises.
An easy way to help you reduce anxiety and stress is to practice deep breathing. There are a number of other benefits — like helping you feel more awake, and helping you think more clearly. It’s a perfect way to spend your commute.
How do you stay productive during your commute?
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