I live in NYC, where a normal commute is 45 minutes to an hour. I’m sure some of you can understand this and some of you may be mind-boggled by it. I personally use the time on the train to read (assuming I have a seat) or catch-up on anything I need to before heading into the office (the beauty of not having to drive!). The time you usually spend commuting has likely changed in recent weeks. 

Now that many of us are working from home for the foreseeable future, I have found myself with about two hours each day now I don’t usually have because I spend them commuting. These two hours have been beneficial, in using them to do all of those things I tend to have put off.

7 Productive Ways To Use Your Usual Commute Time

1. Catching Up On Sleep 

I’m not going to lie, I am most definitely using my extra hour in the morning (most days) to catch up on sleep.

During a normal work week, I am so on the go that it’s just nice to get to sleep in that extra hour and a half or so. Considering my commute to work right now is approximately twenty steps from my bedroom, I can wake up at 8:58 and still be online at 9.

I am getting eight hours of sleep and feeling refreshed because of it. Definitely going to take advantage of not having to wake up super early as much as I can.

Related: Sleep Training For Adults: How To Build a Routine For Better Sleep

2. Work on Side Hustles

If you have a side hustle like most twenty-somethings do have, this is the perfect time to work on them. Get ahead as much as you can, so that way when we do go back to the office, it will be less on your plate to worry about.

If you do not have a side hustle yet, but have thought about starting one, this is the perfect time to look into it, talk to people for advice, and/or start your own.

Here are some tips that will make starting a side hustle easier:

3. Call Family Members

We have all day those times where it’s Thursday night and you realize you meant to call your grandmother but then didn’t have the time to spend over a half hour on the phone. We’ve all been there at one time or another. The days slip by without you having made the call and you start to feel guilty while still stressing about finding the time. 

Now that most of us are quarantined away from some of our family, this is the time to reach out to them. Have that phone call you originally didn’t have time for. Do a virtual family game night or dinner or happy hour. Use this time to catch up with friends and family in ways you haven’t in far too long.

4. Get Ahead At Work 

Just because you are working from home doesn’t mean that you need to be on call 24/7 (well, for most of us). Try to stick to an 8-hour workday or whatever your usual workday is.

But, if you do have a big project coming up or if there has been something you have been putting to the side because you haven’t had time to do it in the office, now is the time to get ahead (or catch-up!).

I know there’s a bunch of HR stuff I always put to the side when I get the email such as online webinars, tutorials, etc. I am using this extra time to get it done. It’s not the most glamorous thing, but using this extra time to progress your career and cross little things off the list is something your future self will thank you for.

5. Clean Your Home

Spring cleaning (or fall cleaning) takes time. If you’re like me, the last thing you want to do when you get home from the office or on the weekends is spend that free time cleaning your home. But now that we are in our homes, it’s much easier to find the time to get that done.

Spend that hour you would normally be commuting into organizing your closet, mopping your floors, or doing that deep clean in your bathroom that you don’t really get around to doing.

Related: Spring Cleaning: 3 Ways To Declutter And Optimize At Home

Also, use this time to go through your clothes and see which items you actually want to keep or which you want to donate, sell, or get rid of. If you have a garage or a basement that you have used to storage stuff, use this time to go through that too.

6. Professional Development

There is also something for us to learn, whether it be in the niche we work with or an outside niche we want some background in. Having this extra time during the day gives you extra time to better yourself and get ahead.

Look up online courses, see if any are free, see if there are any YouTube videos, and take a professional development course.  If there is a certification you have been looking into but have not had the time to complete, here’s your chance!

Related: 4 Creative Skills to Learn When You’re Ready to Grow Your Career

7. Work Out 

Ahhhhh how many of us never want to wake up early to go to the gym or come home from the office from a long day and just want to collapse on the couch rather than be active? I’m guilty and I’m sure some of you are too.

The time you usually spend commuting is the perfect time to use to do an at-home workout! In the morning, it’s a great way to start your day and set the done. If you prefer working out in the evenings, it’s a great way to get out your frustrations of the day or shake work off of you.

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The time we spend commuting is time that is already factored into our day that we now have free. There are so many different things you can do to fill that time and still be productive (yes, catching up on sleep counts as productivity in my book!). How are you filling the time you usually spend commuting?