You can do everything in your power to get your day off to a good start. You can wake up early, meditate, eat a delicious breakfast, and watch your favorite morning show as you slowly sip your coffee.

Unfortunately, there’s one thing that can ruin your momentum of positive energy. It’s completely out of your control and, quite frankly, it’s unfair.

I, of course, am talking about red brake lights.

Your commute can be the most stressful part of your day. First, let’s assume you don’t get stuck in miles of traffic. Your drive to work is still tense because you’re worrying about what you need to do at work. Now take that anxiety and multiple it by a billion when you’re stuck in traffic.

Your daily commute can be enjoyable. You can also learn more about graphic design on your way to work. Here’s how to hack your commute.

Listen to Podcasts

Courtesy of Giphy

Courtesy of Giphy

Looking to learn about graphic design on your way to work? Maybe you want to laugh along with the world’s best improvisers? Perhaps you’d like to get lost in an intriguing crime story?

Chances are there’s a podcast for all of your interests. Podcasts are basically radio shows that are available for on-demand consumption. Simply download a few episodes and start listening. They help pass the time and they’re very entertaining.

You can listen to podcasts about design to increase your knowledge. Podcasts like Design Matters feature interviews of authority figures in the design industry. Other podcasts like Go Media discusses how to run your own design agency. You can learn a lot about the design industry by listening to a podcast on your commute.

Look for Inspiration

Inspiration is everywhere. In your car, on the road, or in the car next to you. It can be anywhere at any time. Don’t shut down your creative brainpower on your commute. Use this time to look for something that could inspire your next project.

Pay attention to every detail on your way to work. Are there billboards? What do they look like? What type of font is used? How is the brand message being communicated? What colors are used? Does the design grab your attention?

Take a look at the buildings you drive by. What shape are they? Is it modern or old fashioned? What color is the building? What material is it made our of? Where is the company logo?

Study the art and infrastructure that’s already in the world. Use this to formulate your own opinions about what you like and if it works. You’ll become a much better designer by analyzing all forms of design.

Listen to Audiobooks

Podcasts are great to listen to if you want to hear interviews from designers and get their opinions on the industry. But what if you just want to learn new techniques?

Audiobooks are great for learning more about design. You can listen to audiobooks about certain design elements, how to design, and the motivations behind each design. These audiobooks range from beginner level, like how to use Photoshop, to advanced techniques and structure. You can also listen to books about innovative designers and their journey.

Record Your Ideas

Courtesy of Giphy

If you take the bus, train, or any type of public transportation to work, then you have the liberty of writing down ideas. Unfortunately, you might be one of the 78% of people who drive to work alone. Some of your best ideas might come and go while you’re at the wheel.

Talk about your ideas out loud and record them while you’re in the car. Your best ideas can come from talking out loud and seeing where your thoughts take you. Programmers use this method by explaining each line of code they write to a rubber ducky. This helps them get a complete understanding of their work so they could explain it to anyone. Use this same method to see if your design ideas are valid, and record yourself so you never forget an idea.

Listen to Lectures

Courtesy of Giphy

Courtesy of Giphy

College courses are expensive and time consuming. Yes, you will learn valuable information but when will you find the time?

Listen to lectures on your commute. You don’t even have to be enrolled in the course. Most universities post their lectures online for free. This means you can listen to a Stanford lecture and learn more about design. Find these lectures and fill your commute with knowledge about design from the world’s brightest professors.

Different Route

The best way to hack your commute has nothing to do with what’s happening in your car. Hack your commute by taking a different route to work.

Mix it up and take side streets instead of the highway. This change of pace will be refreshing and add a jolt of excitement to your workday. You can also find more inspiration on your new route. Maybe you drive by a sign you’ve never seen before. This sign could inspire a new design. Changing your commute might make you a better designer.

Take Advantage

Courtesy of Giphy

Courtesy of Giphy

Take advantage of your commute and make the most out of it! After all, these practices could improve your design skills.