Like many creative entrepreneurs, I have a full-time "real job" that helps support my family while I work on building my small business. I am grateful for my job, but the long commute is my least favorite part of the day. Spending over 3 hours every day on a train isn't that fun in general, but what's worse is that I can't stop thinking about how much I would love to be spending those 3 hours filling orders for my shop, designing new products, or just building my brand.I recently decided to take control of my commuting hours and make them "office" hours.The bright side is that every commuting day I get about 3 uninterrupted hours to spend on my business. The working conditions may not be ideal and yes, I'm pretty exhausted by the time I get on my train home, but I'm actually getting things done.
1. To Do List.
Keep a notebook handy at all times where you can jot down things you need to do for your business. Every morning I use the first part of my commute to pick the tasks I think I can handle on my morning and evening commute. Then I make a list for the day.
2. Block all social media.
It's too easy to burn 45 minutes mindlessly scrolling through Facebook. I went as far as deleting Facebook and Twitter permanently from my phone (I kept Instagram). If you don't want to delete the apps then keep your phone in your bag and out of reach.
3. Reading for inspiration.
I'm a big believer in reading non-fiction and biographies. So much motivation can come from reading about other people with ambitious dreams. My recent favorite reads were Jim Henson by Brian Jay Jones, and The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg. If you're a car/driving commuter then pop in some audio books!
4. Tools of the trade.
I often tote my laptop and Wacom tablet on the train so I can get some design work done, or just sketch. If you're a knitter then the train is an ideal place to get knitting or crocheting done. If your craft isn't portable then just try bringing a journal to make lists, dream, or doodle new ideas.
5. Give your brain a break.
Let's be honest, it's exhausting working multiple jobs, worrying about time and money, caring for our families and pets, making dinner, getting enough sleep - the list is endless. It's important to allow yourself a break from the madness and just zone out. Take a 20 minute nap, listen to some relaxing music, or flip through a magazine.