If you happen to work in San Francisco, New York, or Washington you work in one of the cities with the highest amounts of mega commuters (commuters who travel 90 or more minutes a day each way to work). And while you may not quite be a mega commuter, the average person’s commute is around 25 minutes long. This means that nearly 1 hour of the average person’s work day is spent commuting.
So how can you reclaim that time spent driving and turn it into something productive? Here are some things to do in the car during your daily commute to help keep things interesting and maximize your productivity.
1. Audio Books
Ever feel like you never have time to catch up on your reading list? Audio books are a great way to make the most of the time you spend in the car.
You can download several different apps to your phone or other mobile device that give you access to a variety of audio books. Here are a few to try out:
- Audible: Amazon provides this app for your listening pleasure. There is a wide variety of books, both new releases and classics to choose from. And the reader’s tend to be excellent voice actors. Note that while the app is free, the books are not. You must purchase a membership in order to download content.
- Audiobooks: This app gives you access to thousands of free, public domain titles, perfect for catching up on those classics you always thought you would read. Keep in mind that the readers are Librivox volunteers, so for some books it may be worth it to pay for the upgraded version as sometimes the quality is not the best. The app also provides a selection of current bestsellers for a fee.
- OverDrive: This app gives you access to your local public library’s offerings. You can download ebooks along with audio books, and the quality is typically up there with Audible. Just keep in mind that you may have to wait in line to check out more popular titles, and that after a certain number of days you will have to check out the audio book again.
Ever wondered how people have time to listen to those 30 minute long podcasts? Here’s the secret: speed it up!
You can typically change the speed that you are listening to a podcast on your mobile device. This cuts down long podcasts with slow speakers into more quick paced, and interesting content.
Test out some of these top picks for your Podcast pleasure:
- Pocket Casts: You can search podcasts by network or category, or simple import feeds manually. This app does cost $1.99, but provides a great, user friendly experience.
- Stitcher Radio: This free app focuses on streaming content as opposed to downloading. This may not be the best option for those with data restrictions, but it provides a more interactive experience with podcasts, treating them more like live radio than static shows.
- MediaFly OnAir: This app presents you with curated content you can stream on demand, and offers a wide variety of categories. The app is free, and does not require an account unless desired.
3. Listen to Radio
While it might seem a little old fashioned or maybe just plain obvious, being up to date on what is going on in the world is important. Public radio like NPR or other educational programs can definitely help you improve your knowledge of world events.
4. Take Voice Notes
This may sound a little nuts, but processing out loud works really well for a lot of people. Practice your upcoming presentation, outline a blog post or paper you’re working on, write a book, record content for your website, or talk out your daily to-do list.
And the beauty is that most phones already have a recording device without you having to download one.
Note: If you are going to be using your mobile device heavily during your commute, invest in a quality car charger so that your phone never risks dying. There is nothing worse than running out of juice in the middle of your podcast!
Make the most of your commute and don’t let road rage get to you. These four things to do in the car allow you to maximize your commute to its full potential.
About the Author - Jeff Reinstein is the Chief Executive Officer at Premier Business Centers. He loves spending time with his family and outdoors fishing, mountain biking, surfing, and more.