5 Ways to Maximize Your Commuting Time


By: Jessica Weiss

Virtually everyone in New York City uses public transportation. Whether we are on the subway, NJ Transit, LIRR, Amtrak, etc. We are always on the move but Instead of listening to music, checking social media, and playing games on your phone, take advantage of this extra time. Trying to complete large tasks can be daunting, but you can break them down into manageable pieces so that you can be productive anywhere. Here are our best tips on how to be productive during your commute.

Make a To-Do List

While you are sitting and waiting to get to your stop, try and use your time to make a list of all of your responsibilities. To-do lists are a great way to help you get a clear idea of what you need to accomplish and how important each task is. It can also help you prioritize your goals, so you know which items to tackle first. Depending on how long your commute is, you can dive in and start right away or begin once you get home. An internet connection is not required to compile a To-do list, so don’t worry about not having service underground.

Check and Send Emails

As everyone always says, you are either the person with zero emails in your inbox or the person with over 100,000. Having a cluttered inbox is stressful, so try to use your waiting time wisely and go through it. You can use the time to unsubscribe from annoying mailing lists and reply to time-sensitive messages. Since phone service is spotty underground, you can draft emails and send them once you’ve arrived at your destination.

Work on Assignments

This tip works better for long train or subway rides since completing assignments is quite time-consuming. However, it doesn’t hurt to begin an item on your list even if your trip is over before you complete it. While it is unlikely you will finish the project during your commute, as long as you are moving forward, you are closer to accomplishing your goal. Before you break down your project down into achievable steps, think about how long your trip is going to be. This will help you decide what aspects of the task you will be able to finish. This way you aren’t biting off more than you can chew and overwhelming yourself.

Journal or Sketch

Let your creativity out! When you have a busy schedule, it’s hard to fit in time for your passions. Bring a journal or sketchbook with you on the train and let your ideas flow. You never know when inspiration will spark, so it’s always good to be prepared. There are so many things you can do to be creative, so if writing or drawing isn’t your medium, that’s okay. If you’re a composer, compose. If you're a poet, write a poem. If you’re a singer, don’t sing out loud. No one likes that person. But that doesn’t mean you can’t sing in your head! Spend your time creating instead of sitting and waiting.


Since everyone is busy, it’s hard to make time to start learning a new skill. Maybe you meditate all the time, or perhaps you’ve never done it before. Either way, commuting time is a great time to practice meditating. It is recommended to meditate every day, and it has countless benefits. It is a great way to alleviate stress and anxiety. It can also help you maintain a clear mind. There are several free apps in the app store that can help you along your journey. So take a deep breath and get started!


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