As much as it may feel like you live at the office, the dreaded daily commute sneaks up on you twice a day. You’re forced to remember that there is a home away from your desk. In my brief time as a working adult, I’ve had a variety of different commutes. From five minute walks to twenty minute car rides to an hour long metro trek and now, a leisurely twenty-five minute walk through the Capitol Hill neighborhood, I have finally found a way to make my commute productive and enjoyable. That’s really the key to getting over your hatred of commutes. Stop looking at it as a waste of your time and energy. Whether you walk, drive or bike, we hope one of these suggestions will strike a chord with you and help you make your commute more productive.

Catch up on the news

Whether you prefer Fox News, Politico, or a website that combines the day’s headlines like theSkimm, your morning commute is the perfect time to catch up on the day’s news. If you are able, phones and newspapers and other electronic devices will do the trick. If you are driving, consider a news radio show or podcast, such as Up First.

Listen to a podcast

Whether you’re driving, biking, or walking, you can always listen to a podcast. What I love about podcasts is the vast array of them to choose from. Some days I like the news first thing in the morning, but other days I want to catch up with the latest recap of The Bachelorette or a true crime story I’ve been following. I personally love listening to informational podcasts, especially history ones, that help me become a little smarter every day but that don’t necessarily play a role in my career or schooling. I never feel bad about devoting my commute to a good podcast. 

RELATED: A Girl’s Beginner Guide To Podcasts

Call your family

If you’re anything like me, you enjoy talking to your family members, parents and grandparents and siblings. You might not get to do it enough since you’ve left the nest. If you’re able, use your commute to touch base with people you haven’t talked to in a while. On the phone communication is much more personal than texts. It will remind your loved ones that while you are very busy, you always have time for them.

Listen to an audiobook

There’s nothing I love more than a good book. I was really frustrated that I was losing the hour of reading I had on the metro to walk to my much closer new office, but I finally found a solution in audiobooks. Almost every new release is also released as an audiobook. Countless backlist titles, including the classics, are also available in audio format. No matter what genre you prefer, there is an audiobook out there for you. As much as I love music, I feel really productive when I knock out a couple of chapters of a new book on my way to work instead.

Get your brain stimulated with a game

If your commute is early and you want to be ready and raring to go when you get to the office, do something to stimulate your brain on the way. I’m a big fan of crossword puzzles and Sudoku. They are always easy to find and usually free to access. If you’re not near a normal newspaper, there are many apps for that. By the time you get to work, you’ll be mentally ready to take on the day.

Do something crafty

I always forgo my craft hobbies for more “important” tasks at home. Finding the time to do something crafty on my commute was a blessing. Whether you knit, crochet, embroider, sketch, whatever, it’s a great way to relax and enjoy your commute – if you’re sitting and able to use your hands. Some of my favorite “products” of my past commutes have includes infinity scarves in my college colors, a misshaped pot holder, and a coffee koozie. Don’t tell yourself this isn’t a productive thing to do if it makes you happy. Go ahead and grow your scarf collection or make your mom that Christmas present. No better time than during your commute.

Aryssa D
FFL Cabinet Member