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How to hack your commute to get ahead in your career

Commute sucks: it eats up energy, focus and most importantly, time which leaves us with less opportunity to be productive and successful at work.

Commute also comes with variables that add to the drama. Traffic snarls. Train delays. Bad weather. Ugh.


Time: our most valuable and non-renewable resource

If you work from home, hallelujah brother! Zero commute for you.

If not, then how far you from work. Everyone’s commuting these days has increased drastically: on a daily basis it might be an hour, two hours, or even God forbid three hours!

If we are spending all that time commuting, how can we take advantage of that time?

Because as you know, time is our number one non-renewable resource.

If you spend money, you can always make more money later. Buy if you spend the time, you will never ever get that time back even if you pay someone a ton of money.

Let’s look at 5 great ways to hack our commute times and invest in career building.

#1 Upgrade your knowledge

You can upgrade your knowledge during your car commute using podcasts and audiobooks.

  • Podcasts: Podcasts are generally free, you can go to iTunes or your favorite podcast location, download podcast. Some of my favorite podcasts are with Tim Ferriss who writes about productivity and business. There’s a lot of podcasts you can sample and increase your knowledge and upgrade your knowledge. Basically, you’re listening to it and you can actually take advantage of it while you’re driving, just listen to your podcast.
  • Audiobooks: you can download thousands of audiobooks on your favorite device through Audible.
  • Free audiobooks: If you’re looking for free audiobooks I would highly recommend to check out Overdrive. Overdrive connects to your local library and you can download audiobooks or even Kindle books

That’s how you can continue to enrich your knowledge and upgrade your skill set even when you are commuting.

#2 Nurture your network

This is kind of goes back to the topic about building great professional networks. When you’re driving or commuting, you can absolutely make phone calls. Picture this: you’re in the car, or at the airport and you’ve got 30+ minutes to kill.


Make a phone call or two to your former colleague, someone in your network, maybe a former client of yours just to say hi, keep in touch. What a great way to take advantage of your commute while you’re keeping your network active and building your network.

#3 Make audio notes

Let’s say you’re driving, you think of a great idea. Just put an audio recording on your phone and just think through and put your ideas down in an audio note. Then, you can use that audio note later to transcribe and take down detailed notes. You capture your idea right then and there as you’re driving and you take advantage of your commute.

#4 Productivity and creativity with public transport, Uber etc

In some instances, many of you might be taking public transport where you’re not driving. Which means someone else is driving. Take advantage of that is to maybe do something on your computer: respond and clear out the email pile or create that pending presentation.

Another way would be to write detailed notes about a topic that interests you so that you can take advantage of it.

One of my favorite things to do when I’m commuting and not driving is to just open a regular notebook and write down my thoughts.

There’s something magical and special about physically writing down plans, concepts, and thoughts. That allows me to think outside of the box and get my ideas on paper. And then I can take pictures to put in my OneNote folder.

For me, that’s the best to come up with ideas and concepts for a future implementation.

#5 Hack the commute and get your exercise

Complementing or replacing the regular commute by walking is a great way to get your exercise. And you could keep listening to audiobooks or podcasts while you are walking to taking the stairs.

Getting exercise is key to getting more focus and energy at work.

So there you have it: five great ways to hack your commute and turn it into a career-transforming practice. Would you like to add some more ways to this list? I’d love to hear from you!

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