Making Commutes the Most Productive Part of Your Day: How I Stopped Bitching and Started Doing!

We all know how big of a pain commuting can be. It truly can act as our work before work…but only if you let it be.

I work for marketing/sales for a tech company in the Bay Area. When I first started working there, I let the commute weigh me down. I commute a total of three hours per day. I would even go as far to say I was [borderline] depressed.

Quickly, however, I realized how counterproductive I was becoming…

What if I made these commutes “me-time”? The time where I worked on my business? My “secret sauce”?

This may have been an obnoxiously easy solution, but very difficult to implement. Most things that involve diligence are much easier said than done. But, after a week of misery and listening to repetitive EDM music, I officially stopped bitching and started doing!

Here’s what I do now…

1.) Listening to the School of Greatness Podcast

Lewis Howes’ podcast is called The School of Greatness ( The podcast is released three times per week. That’s a ton of material. Most of the podcast consists of interviews with some of the most successful humans on the planet, motivational monologues by Lewis, or interactive Q & A segments.

Lewis Howes is one of my favorite individuals to follow. He is an expert online marketer, strategic/creative interviewer, thoughtful lifestyle entrepreneur, and one of the biggest “hustlers” in the game. Period. Anywhere. I’m mean, like, anywhere.

Just listen to one of his podcasts and you’ll know exactly what I mean. He will make you want to hop off the train to work right then and there, do one thousand push ups, sell your home, and start your business immediately.

2.) Meditating & Medicating

What do I mean here? I’m not talking about doing yoga or rolling up a joint in the middle of public transportation (but feel free to try those and get back to me about them).

What I am referring to here is the commute there and the commute back. On the commute to your job, concentrate more on Meditating. This consists of anything that gets you focused, poised, and warmed up for your work that day. This could be anything from detailed self-reflection (i.e. writing your goals, thoughts, or ideas in a journal), planning your strategy for the day, or authoring a blog post for your company. Anything that gets you focused and energized for the day’s tasks.

On the commute back home, concentrate more on Medicating. Treat yourself a little bit. Do something that you want to do as opposed to something that you think benefits you. Listen to an inspirational podcast, tweet at one of your customers, reconnect with family. This part of the day should be your time to unwind in a productive manner.

3.) Staying Connected With People

I work with my mentor every single day. I am tremendously fortunate to have the opportunity to do so. His name is Don McQuade. “Sparknotes bio” on him is this: he is the former Vice Chancellor of UC Berkeley, he has founded numerous companies and global organizations, and is one of the most respected intellectuals in the field of English and Composition.

One day I asked him what the best piece of advice he could ever give me was, and he replied with the following:

“The best advice I could ever give you is to make sure to manage and maintain your relationships.” Don McQuade

So that’s what I do. He told me that anybody I want to stay connected with, that I should shoot them a text, email, or phone call (but who the hell calls anybody nowadays?) at least twice per year.

I use my commute on the way back from work to reconnect and stay in touch with my loved ones, friends, or acquaintances that I want to keep in my life. This hasn’t just helped me keep relationships healthy and active, it has enhanced my relationships!

I now have the time I need to write my mom a letter, to craft up a little poem for my girlfriend, or write an email to my grandparents.

My commute now opens up a lot of time to not just help myself grow, but also help my loved ones and I grow closer and for them to know how much I truly care for them.

4.) Listening to the Self-Made Man Podcast

This is Mike Dillard’s podcast ( It is one of my very favorite podcasts because it is all about entrepreneurship. Dillard interviews some of the best minds in the business of business. It feels like you’re delving into the minds of every kind of entrepreneur you can think of. Mike Chang, Lewis Howes (they’re all friends, huh?), and Tucker Max are just some of the many brilliant innovators that you can hear from on the podcast. Make sure to listen to it!

5.) Reading and Watching Gary Vaynerchuk

Gary Vaynerchuk is the definition of a boss. He is a ball of energy and a crockpot of intelligence. Most of all, though, he is relatable.

Nothing against Lewis Howes, Toni Robbins, Tim Ferris, Diane Sanfilippo, or Mike Dillard, but I don’t think anybody beats out Gary Vaynerchuk when it comes to being relatable. Ten seconds of listening to this guy preach (using “speak” simply doesn’t due it justice) and you’d swear you’d be comfortable even to grab a beer or play a pickup basketball game with him.

Gary V. is the guru on content marketing and social media marketing. I am currently reading his book, Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook, which is all about that. The strategies I’ve learned have already helped drive traffic to the company I work for (WriteLab)…and I’m only a quarter of the way through the book.

Maybe I am biased because Gary is a marketing guy, and I am a marketing guy. He is a model of who I want to be and where I want to go with my career. One day I’ll own my own marketing firm. One day I’ll be not just an entrepreneur, but a personality that others can look up to and relate to. He makes me know that it is possible. And that is important.

6.) Writing Blog Posts, Journal Entries, and Scripts

I like to write. It’s what I grew up doing. Granted, I am more of a storyteller than a master wizard at prose/composition, but hey I ain’t that bad.

Writing is a way I can create. It is a way I can have authority over a body of work. I am on my own schedule. I have complete autonomy. The rest of the day is (mostly) occupied by someone else’s wants and needs. My boss. My girlfriend. My friends. My family.

Writing gives me, and you, an outlet where we can exercise absolute control, and that is beautiful.

There is a reason why the words “author” and “authority” look so similar…

7.) Reading TechCrunch and CNNMoney

This part of my post is pretty self-explanatory. Keeping up on news and trends in the field that you are going into is absolutely invaluable. You will be a weapon in your industry if you know exactly what is going on in it. What is working? What isn’t? Why?

By doing this, your decisions will be 100x more thoughtful, and thus, more beneficial to your company.

To educate yourself is to equip yourself!

This quote personifies this entire article. By taking every possible moment to educate yourself and work towards your goals, you will be the most productive human you can be.

8.) Reading Medium, Of Course!

Would I be doing this amazing platform a disservice if I didn’t mention this? Hell to the yeah!


So what is the conclusion of this post? The short answer is that if I can stop being a whiner and turn my most boring, long, semi-depressing part of my day into the most productive, self-improving, spectacularly motivational part of my day, then you can too!

Turn your commute from being the part of the day that you dread most into the part that you look forward to most. Turn it from the part that you have to do into the part that you must do.

If you do this, I promise that you will become much more self-aware, much happier, and much more prolific worker as a direct result.

Thanks for reading!


If you got this far without being bored out of your gourd, then do me a favor and click Recommend and/or follow me! I will certainly follow you back and read your work.

Tune in every Monday and Friday for new content, and follow me on Periscope @ DakotaShane_Nun for daily talks near the beautiful San Francisco bay about business, marketing, and lifestyle.

Have a great rest of the day, everybody!

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