Here’s How to Make Your Commute Productive

One of the approx 10.9 million Australians who commute to work/full-time study? If yes, chances are you’ve ended up in infinite scroll-land, only to miss your stop and know way too much about @insertrandomhuman’s interiors and outfit choices circa 2014. Pedestrian Jobs are here to help you mix it up, and turn those empty minutes into pockets of productivity. Plus, we’re offering 50% off your first job ad for all our new friends! Simply email us at to claim. Already one of us? We still luv ya – email us for a free promo on your next job ad.

The secret to a productive commute? Figure out what’s lacking in your life, and use your travel time to balance the scales. With Australians spending 53 minutes a day, 5 days a week travelling to and from work (on average), we’ve got the time up our sleeve. Whether it’s chilling the flip out or learning something new, here be a bunch of ways to bring more of the good stuff into your working week and make the most of every minute. 
If you’re a lil all over the shop, make the most of this empty space to clear your head, make a list and get started. Try a brain dump, where you write down everything that’s on your mind, from the to-do’s to the to-buy’s, and then write a list for the day.

Then get started on the list. 

We’re all about: 
  • Smashing out some life admin – make appointments, pay ya bills, order your groceries to get delivered that night. Just get that boring shit DONE. 
  • Skimming your work emails – delete junk, file away anything that doesn’t need actioning and star anything that does. 
  • Take your coffee with you to save $$ and time. 
  • Take the time to set/reflect on ya goals. It might be the only time in your day when no one’s asking you to do a million things, so grab it with both hands and use your noggin to think about the big picture stuff. 
Miss that feeling of fresh knowledge raining down around you? Whether it’s work-related, getting across current affairs or indulging in a passion or hobby, your commute could be the time to get ahead and engage the brain before the Netflix/sofa killer combo turns you into a total zombie. Hot tip: quality headphones are everything when it comes to concentration and not being put off by other people’s boring/fascinating convos.
Some ideas to get started? 
  • Learn a language – get around the sick apps out there and start practising. Bonus points if you’re driving and can get your bonjours on out loud. 
  • Read or be read to – go old-school and hit up your local library, or download the latest straight to your device. Go all ears and hit up Audible for an audiobook, or check out Blinkist, a crazy app that takes books and distills them into 15 mins worth of reading or listening. 
  • Get across the news – arriving at the office already informed can be a reality. Browse your fave news sites (*cough* *cough*) or listen to a news podcast to catch up on it all. 
  • Train the brain – for the times when you basically want to play a game disguised as learning. Lumosity is the big one, but shop around the app store to see what tickles ya fancy. 
When in doubt, zen it out. 
3. YOU TIME <3 
Lacking self-love/aka fun time? Use your commute to do something you actually enjoy, or give yourself a little headspace. Turns out, it’s kind of good for that. Curtin University’s Distinguished Professor of Sustainability Peter Newman says “commuting is actually an important psychological regime … You need a break between work and home and this is one of the ways in which you achieve this distancing.”
How about one of these for starters? 
  • Switch your phone onto airplane mode if you’re going to read or listen to music, to avoid defaulting to social media. Or get one of those fancy apps that blocks your access to other time-wastin’ apps, if you need some help in the self-control department. 
  • Meditate – nothing says self-care like taking a break to meditate. Again, dip your toe in the pool of apps out there and see what works for you. If your commute involves your own two feet, there are even guided walking meditations to listen to, so you don’t have to be sittin pretty. 
  • Get social – whether it’s carpooling with a buddy or calling a friend from overseas while you walk (the time difference might actually work for the first time EVER), connect with people you like/love who might sometimes get overlooked in your busy 9-5 life. 
  • If you can involve exercise in your commute, then that is the DEFINITION of two birds, one stone. Get your step rate up, or jump on your bike and ride. Get the endorphins in ya and get where you need to go at the same time. 
At the end of the day (and the start, for that matter) it’s all about being mindful of your time, and using it in a way that works for you. 
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Photo: Broad City