The Career

Make the Most Out of Your Commute

If you're anything like me, you'll feel like time is one of the worst things you can waste (except for water, of course #teamsavethewater). Learn to make the most of your commute time.

If you’re anything like me, you’ll feel like time is one of the worst things you can waste (except for water, of course #teamsavethewater).

I like to think I’ve learned to be more relaxed nowadays, but once upon a time, idle time would drive me mad. If I were waiting too long in a doctor’s office or got stuck in traffic for an hour, I would genuinely lose patience. Nowadays, I’ve learned to keep myself occupied in times where I know I may have some ‘time wasted’. In other words, I take a novel with me basically everywhere I go, just in case I have to wait for something or someone, and I have a to-do list in my phone notes so that if I have an awkward time to kill (twenty-seven minutes?), I can cross some things off.

The average Canadian spends 34 minutes commuting to work. So basically an hour a day, sometimes more, sometimes less, but either way, it’s time that you could have spent doing literally anything else. Washing your hair, caring for your health and fitness, spending time with a loved one, anything. The question is, how do you maximize the time you spend commuting and not see it as ‘wasted time’?

Listen to an Audiobook

I’m an avid reader, so this one’s my favourite way to pass the time on a commute, especially since I drive to work. Popping in an audiobook helps take me out of my day-to-day life and into another world for an hour a day (and helps me return my library books before their due dates). Need some motivation? They also have audiobooks for your favourite self-help books – from the Dale Carnegies to the Elon Musks.

Listen to a Podcast

Not interested in fiction or books in general? How about a podcast! On, you can find all sorts of podcasts depending on your interests. There is everything from true crime stories, to comedy skits, to sports, to discussions about all sorts of topics. It’s truly a wonderful place to learn something new or stay entertained and updated.

Learn a New Language

Are you the kind of person who needs to be productive at all times? Try to pick up a new skill on your commute! There are tons of podcasts and tapes to listen to that specialize in learning new languages. I personally do 5 minutes a day on my lunch break on the Duolingo app, but a 15-minute podcast a day could do wonders.


Who says doing nothing is a waste of time?

If you live a busy, hectic life (as most of us Westerners do), maybe your commute is your only downtime away from coworkers, kids and roommates. In that case, you can use your time alone to meditate. If you’re driving, it’s suggested to not play any music and to really be present in your situation. Essentially, just being mindful both physically and mentally. Regulate and control your breathing, and focus solely on the drive. The idea is to numb your brain from the negative worries we tend to let creep into our minds and instead to live in the moment. Eventually it should help you eliminate negative thoughts and worries from your every day life and be more present.

There are dozens of things you can do on your commute to customize it to yourself – making to-go breakfasts the night before to eat on the way and sleep in longer, making sales calls on the commute, sleeping, ordering groceries online, and the list goes on. The idea is to think of what you don’t find a waste of time, and figuring out how to incorporate it into your commute. No time spent doing something you love is time wasted.

Any ideas not listed above? Comment below and share!

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