According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the average travel time to work in the United States is 25.4 minutes. This doesn’t seem so bad until you start really thinking about how much time that takes per week, month and the entire year; after crunching the numbers, we’re looking at 4 hours a week, 25 a month and 304 a year spent just going to and from work! Are you using that time to scroll mindlessly through social media or are you using the hours effectively? If you put your mind to it, the extra hours can help your career tremendously! Let’s take a look at ways you can help yourself on the way to work:

  1. Read

This is an oldie, but always goodie! They say knowledge is power, and books are one of the cheapest and most impactful resources we have at our disposal. If you have a commute that doesn’t require your eyes to stay on the road, try to hunker down with a good read. My personal goal in 2018 is to read 12 books, 6 professional development-related ones and 6 leisure reads! Mixing up the subject matter and style of writing can help to keep things fresh.

  1. Listen

Podcasts are the new, buzzworthy knowledge tools right at our fingertips! Whether you’re looking for a new way to get information from a news outlet, an interesting storyline or some professional tips, they’re an incredibly easy way to consume useful information. In fact, have you tuned into our very own Medix Impact Podcast? It’s an excellent tool to stay in touch with the latest and greatest career advice.

  1. Reflect

Some of the best thinking is done away from your actual place of work. Instead of taking precious time at home to think about to-lists and goals, knock it out in the car, bus or train! Dedicate just 5-10 more minutes during your commute to reflect on the current day, the following day and the whole week. What are your top priorities? What resources will you need to be successful? How can you improve your workflow to be as productive as possible? You can even use an audio tool on your phone to reflect and talk through ideas, then review the files later!

  1. Learn

The first step to success is learning! A great way to stay sharp in both the personal and professional realms is to learn a new skill. Unfortunately, with busy schedules and demanding time commitments, it gets difficult to carve out time for ourselves. That’s where commuting comes in! Quit social media stalking and download a learning app to study a new language, take up knitting or listen to an audio course on a completely new skillset.

  1. Catch some ZZZs

Don’t be fooled, getting some shut eye during your commute actually can help your career! We’ve all heard the overwhelming statistics about how sleep boosts productivity performance and even morale. If you’ve had a long day or a poor night sleep, don’t be afraid to shut your eyes for a little while. The better you feel at work, the more successful you will be in the long-run. Take caution if you decide to shut your eyes because you don’t want to miss your stop! Also, never drive while drowsy and certainly never sleep behind the wheel!

Time is precious, so use it wisely! If you find yourself looking at cute dog pics on Instagram or listening to the same radio station every day, it’s time to switch things up. How will you use your commute to help your career? If you have more suggestions, feel free to share below: