3 Ways to Use Your Former Commute Time to Advance Your Career

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Now that a majority of us are working remotely, and it may stay like that for the foreseeable future, one thing we’ve left behind is the commute to the office. And while I’m willing to bet this is a perk for just about everyone, it does leave you with a bit of extra time at the beginning and end of your workday.

So, what should you do with it? You could sleep in, you could start a new TV show or you could work out. Or even all three on varying days. But if you want to use the time to advance yourself and ultimately your career, here are a few ways to do just that.

Take an Online Class

This category can be broken down in many ways. You could learn a soft skill like leadership if you’re hoping to manage a team one day, or you want to learn how to manage a remote team more effectively. You could learn a hard skill that you usually hire a freelancer for, or have just always been interested in. This could be something as involved as coding, or as niche as Photoshop. You could even venture into something more outside the box like Yale University’s Science of Well-Being class to become more productive in your day to day.

You could even do multiple classes. There are no rules and the opportunities available for online learning are seemingly endless. So, consider a skill or trait you’d like to pick up and do some searching on sites like Masterclass, Udemy or Coursera.

Listen to Podcasts

The podcasting medium has been booming for quite some time, with everything from true crime to news and dating advice. So, finding one that relates to your industry or position is a great way to stay up on the latest industry trends and influential people. And this is one that you could continue once you’re back to the commute. Do a quick search or ask friends and colleagues in your industry if they have any recommendations.

Another thing to consider is audiobooks. Sitting down and reading a nonfiction book on leadership or other soft skills can be a bit daunting, but listening to it can be considerably easier. Start by listening to one chapter as you walk around the block and see if it’s for you. It’s just another way to soak up knowledge in your newfound spare time.

Pick Up a New Habit

When you’re in the depths of your daily grind, it can be extremely difficult to switch up your routine. But these days, your routine is likely less set in stone. Consider adding in something you’ve always wanted to do. Then, stick with it.

This could be meditating so you’re in a better headspace when you log on to work. It could be blocking time to actually sit down and eat lunch every day while reading your favorite industry newsletter. Or maybe it’s as simple as not snoozing your alarm so you have time to get ready and have a cup of coffee before your first meeting. Whatever it is, the point is to make your life a little bit easier so that when commuting returns, good habits have already stuck.

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