For many of us, commuting is our only discretionary time of day. When you use your commute to generate energy, creativity, and delight, it can help you be more effective and satisfied in every other dimension of your life and work.
Before leaving home
- Fill your cup
Wake up your body by stretching, meditating, doing yoga, going for a run, or fueling up with a breakfast of champions.
- Express yourself
By expressing yourself, just for the fun of it, you will become more receptive to new ideas and possibilities. Wake up your creativity with an activity that delights you. Write, paint, play an instrument, sing, or dance.
- Tend your family
Delight in your family by sharing unhurried time at the start of the day. Discuss intentions with your partner, play with your kids, pet the cat, eat a hearty breakfast together. Notice and appreciate how your work helps you provide for your family.
Behind the wheel
- Tune in without tuning out
As we hurtle through space strapped into our cars, we can listen to music, podcasts, and audio books to help us energize us for the day ahead.
- Speak it out loud
The car may be the only place where you can speak without being heard. Whether you need to blow off steam, rehearse a presentation, or talk yourself down, the car gives you the privacy to say it out loud.
- Practice mindfulness
While you’re on the road remember that stillness is built into driving and so is awareness. You can amplify both with mindfulness practice: by noticing your breath, your thoughts, your body, your dashboard, the scenery, etc.
- Get ready, get set…
Your commute can also help you get emotionally and logistically ready for your day. Whether you’re strategizing about negotiating a raise or capturing a to-do list on voice recorder, you can use driving time to visualize, intend, plan, and affirm your capacity to go get it.
Traveling as a passenger
- Connect with others
Enjoy the company of the people you’re traveling with and arrive at work primed for more engagement.
- Settle in to yourself
Prefer anonymity? Public transportation is great for that. Headphones have the double benefit of allowing you to listen to something meaningful while communicating to others that you’re not available for conversation.
- Engage in your world
Reading newspapers can keep you current about your industry, interests, and the world at large. By getting informed about issues that may impact your work and inspired about what’s possible, you can begin your day with a global perspective.
- The ride home from work is a great time to reflect on your day, digest your discoveries, celebrate your accomplishments, and declare yourself complete. Here are some prompts to guide you in this inquiry.
- Did you meet your top three goals for the day?
- What went well?
- What could have gone better?
- What are your top three goals for tomorrow?
You could write your answers in your planner, discuss with your travel companion, or simply ruminate. Even if you do nothing more than shout “I’m finished working!” you are signaling to your mind and body that your workday is a wrap and clearing the way for a replenishing evening at home.
Whether you’re getting a head start on a high-impact day or winding down from one, your commute gives you the space to reflect on where you’ve been and prepare for where you’re headed.