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Managing time while commuting

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Do you ever sit in traffic on the way to work listening to the radio, only to be bored by a over-the-top DJ rambling on about something stupid? Or maybe you find yourself staring out of the window of a train or bus wishing it would hurry up so that you can get to the million and one things you need to do today?

According to some interesting statistics that I was reading recently, the average worker spends at least an hour a day travelling to and from work, with some people spending more than 8 hours a week commuting. That’s an entire work day every week! Believe it or not, commuting on public transport or travelling to and from work can actually be one of the most productive times of your day.

Listen to podcasts on your mp3 player
The rise in popularity of podcasts and audio books makes it easy to learn just about any topic while commuting. You can now get a great deal of career-building information on almost any topic for free, by simply subscribing to any number of podcasts. iTunes is a great place to download free podcasts. For a few dollars a month you can purchase any number of audio books from websites like www.audible.com. Listening to professional development material while you travel won’t just get you through your transit time, you’ll also find yourself hours ahead of your competitors and perhaps your colleagues who might be sitting on a train staring off into space.

Read industry magazines

Travelling on public transport (not while you are driving) is also a great opportunity to catch up with what’s going on in your industry. Subscribe to the most important magazines in your industry (or borrow them from work) and read regularly. If you want to do something a bit left-of-centre, try subscribing to a magazine in an industry you know nothing about as well. You may be surprised with the new ideas you’ll get when you read about an industry that is completely different to yours.

Send text and email messages
If you don’t want to learn a language, or listen to professional learning materials, then your Blackberry or iPhone can be an effective mobile office. If you have a backlog of emails, try respond or checking emails, texting your colleagues or clients, or generally prepare for the work day ahead before you even step foot in the office.

Do you fly or travel interstate or overseas?
While there is a limited amount of time on a plane, you can use your computer to catch up on work. If you can’t be bothered pulling out our laptop there is nothing to stop you from reading memos or proofing printed documents.

When you know you’re going to be flying, spend some time the day or evening before leaving printing off any documents that need reviewing or work that can be done by hand. By managing your time effectively, you’ll save time either side of your trip.

There’s always a book or newspaper
Yes, when all else fails you can always read a book or catch up with the news (if there’s room on the tram, bus or train).

To learn more about managing your time and priorities, visit www.success.net.au or go to www.paulpuckridge.com

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