8 Ways to Be Happier and More Productive, Starting With Your Morning Commute

Written by SarahLandrum Published in

If you’re looking for ways to be happier and more productive, one of the best places to start is with your morning commute. Often overlooked for its benefits, getting to work can sometimes feel like a waste of time. However, productive people know that there’s no time like the present to begin crossing items off your to-do list.

Here are eight ways to take advantage of your morning commute to make you a happier and more productive person:

1. Listen to Books or Podcasts

Use your morning drive to further develop your career or personal interests with audiobooks and podcasts. Often available for free at your local library, audiobooks allow you to enjoy some escapism or learn something new. This list of 2015 Audies Award Finalists will help you land some great titles.

2. Carpool With Positive People

If you have the opportunity to carpool with people who work near you, take advantage of that time to get a good start. When choosing your fellow passengers, try to select those who are known for their positivity. This means shying away from the complainers. Surrounding yourself with positive thinkers will help start out your day with uplifting conversation.

3. Take Another Route

Sometimes the humdrum of the commute to work can make the drive seem even longer. With the average commute time ranging from 16 to 31 minutes per day, changing up your route every now and then can help give some variety to your routine. Maybe it’s a quick stop at the coffee shop, or an entirely new road to follow. However you decide to change up your route, give yourself time to enjoy the scenery.

4. Catch up With Loved Ones

Use your drive as an opportunity to catch up with friends and family. Most phones come with a Bluetooth option, which means you can chat it up without having a cellphone pressed against your cheek. If you happen to take the subway or some other form of public or shared transportation, texting or emails can be great ways to catch up.

5. Make a List

Schedules can get packed full of – well – life. If your schedule or to-dos become unbearable, consider your commute as a time to prepare. For drivers, mental lists are the way to go to stay safe while driving, but for passengers and public transportation participants, writing your to-do list in a private location, such as a journal or notebook, can help get you ready for the busy day ahead.

6. Wake up Earlier

Rushing around in the morning can negatively impact your mood. Instead of speeding down the highway to make up for lost time, wake up earlier. Yes, easier said than done for some, but the more you do it, the more likely you’ll be able to form the habit and make it part of your daily routine.

7. Prep the Night Before

It may be the last thing you want to do after a long day, but prepping for your commute and day at work the night before can be beneficial in securing a happy morning. Plan ahead with meals and snacks to help you stay on track with healthy eating habits and avoid impulse fast food stops on your way to work.

8. Monitor the Roads

New technology makes monitoring your commute for traffic issues easier than ever. These downloadable apps can notify you when there’s been an accident or incident that will affect your drive. The Inrix Traffic app uses road sensors to give you up-to-date road condition information, which will help you manage your time and stay safe.

Your morning commute doesn’t have to be stagnant. Embrace the chance to use that time as fuel for your day, setting ground for positive thinking and productivity.

Sarah Landrum is a freelance writer and blogger who enjoys writing about all things business. She is also the founder of the career blog Punched Clocks. Catch her on Twitter@SarahLandrum and be sure to subscribe to her newsletter for more great tips 


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