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Make the Most of Your Commute


commute photos
Photo credit: ULTRA.F/Getty Images

Commuting to work isn't always easy for the working mother who has to get her children ready to go to school or daycare before she begins her commute to work. But once you get behind the wheel of your car or onto the bus, train, ferry or bicycle, your commute can be blissful time to yourself.

In fact, the more creative you are, the more you can put this "me time" to good use. Whether you have a 20 minute train ride or two hour drive, try some of the following tips for using commute time wisely.

Bus, Train and Ferry Commute

When you're forced to sit on a bus, train or ferry for any period of time, you suddenly find a break in your busy day with a designated amount of time to yourself. For many working mothers, this can be time to relax, catch a quick nap, meditate or apply makeup. However, many working moms like to take advantage of any free moment they can steal to get all the things done on their daily to do list.

For commutes where you're not the vehicle operator, try accomplishing some of following tasks:

Reading . I'm sure your stay-at-home mother counterparts are always talking to you about the latest book they read, or even worse: they attend a book club and are constantly talking about how much they enjoy it. What runs through your mind is, "If I only had the time to read." Your commute to work is your opportunity to catch up on your reading. Whether it's the latest Twilight Novel on your Kindle, or simply the business plan you typed up last night, use commute time for recreational or professional reading.

Writing Need to finish a business proposal? Commute time is opportune for doing this, especially if you carry your laptop with you to work. Other types of writing that can be completed on your commute include birthday invitations, holiday cards and your daily planner of activities.

Planning With cell phone in hand you can use commute time to plan and schedule meetings, hire babysitters, make dinner reservations and schedule vacations. Have your daily planner available to jot down plans you make. It's also a good time to get a jump start on your morning business calls, if the background noise is minimal and you won't disturb fellow commuters.

Car Commuters

Phone Calls If you're behind the wheel of a car commuting to and from work each day, you can still use this time effectively. While your main goal is to concentrate on the road, you can use a headset or speaker phone to make social or business calls. Don't make calls for which you'll need to jot down information, but it's a good time to telephone friends and family you don't have time to contact during the workday.

Learning Use this time to listen to CDs that can teach you a new language, such as the Rosetta Stone. Check out books on tape (or CD) from your local library, or download interesting lectures from iTunes or a university Web site.

Bicycle and Pedestrian Commuters

Exercising Riding a bicycle to work has become a healthy way to commute for both yourself and the environment. If you choose this mode of transportation to commute to work, you're also getting a good cardio workout. Also, consider walking to work -- if the pace is fast enough you'll burn calories, raise your heart rate and tone all those key muscles.

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