Sitting in traffic sucks, and it’s especially bad during the holidays. The mix of people on their way to parties, friends and relatives back in town, and last minute shoppers scrambling for gifts can create a truly terrifying “carmageddon.”
However, it’s important not to let the unusually congested roads cut into your productivity. Here are a few tips to remain engaged and productive on the road.
Invest in a portable WiFi device
Having an Internet connection with you where you go will allow you to stay in touch with work via emails, check on the company blog or website, and work on your online project management tool of choice. If you don’t have data on your mobile plan, getting a WiFi device will allow you to connect to the Internet from your phone or even your laptop. As long as you have enough space and enough battery, you’ll be able to work on your laptop during your commute.
Check the app store for tools you use on your computer
Many of the tools that you use for work might be available as apps, which means you’ll be able to use them from your phone. Tools like Basecamp, Google Docs, and Evernote are all available as apps. If there’s any work you need a tool to do, check to see if that tool is available as an app so you can work on your phone. For example, if you’re a manager, you can write up a project draft and send it to your team via Trello’s mobile app.
Bring work related or business reading material
As annoying as traffic is, your commute can be a great time to catch up on project briefs, team reports, and other reading you have piling up. If you work in HR, take the time to read through some resumes on the train. If you’re a designer, read your project descriptions and the blog posts you’re creating images for so that you have a good idea of what they need.
Make business calls and have virtual meetings
If you’re traveling in a private car, taxi, or ride sharing service, where a call won’t disturb anyone, it might be a good idea to take calls and have on-the-go meetings. Bring a set of headphones with you to help with call quality. If you want to take it a step further, invest in an online video conferencing tool you can use with your phone that allows you to record your meetings.
Download a podcast to listen to
Podcasts are an excellent way to stay up-to-date in your industry. If you’re in marketing, Buffer put together a list of top marketing podcasts, which you can listen to on your way to work. They’re great for brainstorming, and you may get an idea or two for your business while you’re dealing with traffic.
Learn something new on audio
In addition to podcasts, there’s a lot of educational material out there that you can listen to on your commute. If you want to learn a new language, listen to a business seminar, or attend an online statistics course, you can do it while sitting in traffic.
Disclaimer: Remember to stay safe and keep others safe on the roads. If you are driving instead of commuting, stick to activities that don’t distract you from driving.
What do you do to stay productive during your commutes? Share your tips in the comments below!