Established, since 1997, leading UK based training provider.

How to Make the Most of your Journey to Work

How to make the most of your journey to work

How to make the most of your journey to work

People have to spend time commuting to and from work, and the travel time represents down time. What is down time?

Definition of Down time: It's time which is occupied with an unavoidable task, one which requires little brain power. As a consequence, down time is often unproductive, wasted time.

Down time includes, travelling to work, waiting for buses, trains and planes, ironing, vacuuming, washing up, mowing the lawn, sitting in traffic congestion etc.

This down time is wasted time; but it does not have to be.

Here are a few suggestions to how to get the best from down time:

  1. Study a new language.
  2. Set goals for the future.
  3. Make plans on how to achieve existing goals.
  4. Prepare or rehearse for an important event or conversation.
  5. Review a past event or conversation and figure how you could have handled it better.
  6. Memorise some important facts.
  7. Listen to an educational work-related educational programme.
  8. Rest and relax and enjoy the opportunity to do nothing.

1. Use down time to study a new language.

We live in a multicultural world and language learning is a valuable skill. If you spent half an hour every day learning a foreign language during your down time, that would be a good use of your time. There are plenty of providers of language learning systems which you can use. My favourite language teacher is Michel Thomas, whose programmes are easily available online and in shops.

2. Set goals the future.

Your success depends upon you achieving goals, and the first step to achieving a goal is to set it. Spend your down time thinking about what you want for the future. Where do you want to be a year from now? How do you want to be a year from now?

Set valuable long-range goals for yourself and your loved ones.

3. Make plans on how to achieve existing goals.

You may already have goals and ambitions, but you may NOT have practical plans that will achieve them. You can use your down time to make detailed plans that will transform your goals into reality.

You may have a goal to get into better physical condition. Use your down time to devise a training and diet regime that will give you the body you want.

Remember that a goal without a plan is a fantasy. A goal together with a detailed plan, becomes a powerful tool for progressive change.

4. Prepare or rehearse for an important event or conversation.

You may have an important event or conversation on the horizon.

Use your down time to prepare your mind for the event. Go over the facts that led to the situation, go over the options available and make some decisions about how you will handle the event or conversation.

Remember: Luck favours the prepared mind.

5. To review a past event or conversation and figure how you could have handled it better.

On any particular day, you can think about an important recent event or conversation that did not go as well as you had hoped. You can use your dead time, NOT for beating yourself up over what went wrong, but thinking about what lessons you learned from that bad situation and how you can apply the lesson to similar situations in the future.

You can learn from the past, but only if you ponder its meaning.

Use your down time to ponder the meaning of past events.

6. Memorise some important facts.

It is said that knowledge is power.

You can use your down time to memorise facts that are associated to your work. Memorise the periodic table. Memorise the multiplication table. Memorise the definitions of the law. Memorise the important facts figures and formulas that you should know, but don't.

If you learn more, you'll earn more.

Use your down time to memorise key facts.

7. Listen to an educational programme.

Don't restrict yourself to learning work related things. Learn about the world about you and how it works. Listen to educational podcasts on history, economics, philosophy, geopolitics, psychology and ethics.

Why not? You're not doing anything better during your down time.

8. Rest and relax and enjoy the opportunity to do nothing.

Of course, you could just go back and do nothing. Since everyone needs to rest, maybe a good way to use your down time is to rest.

Blogs by Email

Do you want to receive an email whenever we post a new blog? The blogs contain article 5-10 minutes long - ideal for reading during your coffee break!

Your Comments

Further Reading in Personal Effectiveness

  • How to persuade someone to do something
    There will come a time at work or in your personal life, where you will need to persuade someone to do something, in order to achieve a goal. Here are a few simple tactics you can use next time you need to use your powers of persuasion.
    Read Article >
  • How to Stop Worrying
    Many people spend too much valuable time, fretting and worrying over things which have happened; or might happen. Fretting and worrying doesn't change anything other than your emotional state.
    Read Article >
  • How to make more progress
    How to make more progress Time is the ultimate resource Some people have more money to spend than you do, today. But nobody has more time to spend than you do, today. Time is the great leveler We are all equal in the amount of time we get, per day. But...
    Read Article >
  • Know When to Stop
    Everyone needs to know went to stop; waiting for things to change, talking or eating too much, working or playing too hard.
    Read Article >
  • What is self discipline?
    What is self discipline? Self-discipline is the act of mentally overriding your own mood, or momentary desire, and making yourself do what you think you should do, as opposed to doing what you feel like doing. In the sixties and seventies, and even today, Self-Discipline, is not a particularly popular idea...
    Read Article >