How to Use Your Commute to Set Your Day Up for Success

The morning commute to work is never much fun, even if you run your own business. As the days get darker and colder, it’s even more unpleasant, particularly if you rely on public transport.

However, if you’re looking for something to do besides stare out of the window or listen to music, then we have some tips for you.

Listen to a productive podcast

Podcasts are making a bit of a comeback. With Spotify’s podcast library, Apple Podcast and Audible all out there all vying for attention, you have no shortage of options.

Popular genres include productivity, business, health, politics, history and comedy. If you get into podcasts, there’s little room for boredom as you can choose one that suits your mood. In the mood to learn something? Start listening to a podcast about business or foreign languages. Want a relaxing commute? Opt for a chat-show style podcast or a comedy one – make sure not to laugh too loud though if on public transport!

You could use your commute to become more productive and learn something new before you even step into the office – all with little effort on your part.

Get your reading done for the day

Reading is a classic way to pass time on your morning commute. Settle down with a book or an e-reader if you want something smaller and lighter. If you drive and can’t possibly look at a book, try audiobooks instead. Although, if you’re easily distracted, this might not be a good idea. You don’t want to get too engrossed in a novel when merging on a motorway.

Organise emails

If you come into the office with hundreds of emails in your inbox it can be such a daunting sight. Take some time during your commute to at least organise these emails into different folders or assign priorities. A good way of dealing with mass amounts of email is to organise them in terms of urgency. For example, put urgent ones in a “must have a reply today” folder and others in a “must have a reply this week” folder and so on.


Solving puzzles while you’re half asleep can wake you up in a way coffee can’t quite achieve. Try out Sudoku or a crossword to wake up your mind which can then make starting your daily work easier to move onto. No more sluggish mornings to struggle through.

Create a to-do list for the day or week

If you like to prepare and get ahead of the game, use time on your commute to put together a to-do list or plan of action for the day. If you’re likely to be hit by a dozen queries or conversations as soon as you walk through the door, it helps to have a moment of focus and clarity before you sit down to work. This is especially true for busy company owners and directors who need to squeeze as much time out of the day as they can.

There are many ways you can do this, from an app like To-Doist, or you could use Google Calendar to try “calendar blocking” which is the process of creating an hourly timetable for yourself. Alternatively, there’s nothing wrong with good old pen and Post-It notes.

Just chill

If trying to be productive in the morning ends up being too stressful, just chill. You don’t have to be ultra-productive every minute of the day. Sometimes you just need a quiet moment to sit back and enjoy a warm drink. If this is you, try not to feel bad about it. Relaxation is also key to a successful day at work.


Do you make the most of the time on your morning commute? What productive/relaxing tasks do you get up to when you’re waiting to get to the office?

Stephanie Whalley
Serial snacker, compulsive cocktail sipper and full time wordsmith with a penchant for alliteration, all things marketing and pineapple on pizza.