The threat of continued hikes in gasoline prices is prompting more commuters to opt for a form of public transportation or carpooling to ease the strain on their budget. If you’re one of them, note that in addition to saving money — and reducing your carbon footprint — you’re also potentially gaining time to chisel away at tasks or spend time in other pursuits that can enhance your day.
1. Get a head start on work. Use your cell phone or tablet to coordinate your calendar, do on-line research, or review forms and documents. It will make the day less stressful overall, potentially allowing you to build some down time into the midst of it.
2. Read or listen to audio books. Choose topics that can advance your career or, alternatively, simply listen to books that inspire and entertain you. It’s no secret that readers are usually better writers so indulge in the pastime with assurances that the presentations and papers you create with be better for having done it.
3. Learn a different language. Planning a trip to Europe, Asia, or South America? Even if you’re not, learning a foreign language can be a satisfying and career building experience, especially in today’s increasingly global economy.
4, Write! Use the time to catch up on e-mail, draft a proposal or presentation, or edit one that you’ve already written. Alternatively, begin or continue a personal journal. Keeping a journal can have many positive benefits, including clarification of goals, insights into personal and professional relationships, and reduction of stress levels that can accompany indecision or confusion.
5. Take a class. There are countless distance learning opportunities that can broaden your horizons both professionally and personally. Sign up and use your commute time to accomplish what’s required.