The average commute time for Americans is 25.5 minutes one way, according to USA Today. That equals almost six hours of commute time in one week. However, living in Los Angeles, it is more common for the commute time to be up to an hour each day, and even longer when you factor in traffic. All of this time spent in the car is wasted time, especially if you listen to talk radio that you aren’t particularly fond of. Why not make it more profitable for your brain, budget, and body?
Audiobooks and Podcasts
Brian Tracy, renowned success expert and author of Eat That Frog!, offers many pieces of advice. Two that have always stuck with me are the importance of investing in yourself and that anyone can be an expert in a field if they read 50-60 books in that field. Listening to audiobooks and podcasts that are directly tied to your line of work can benefit you in many ways.
Audiobooks are on average five to seven hours long. If you spend six hours a week commuting, you can easily finish a book each week. By the end of the year, you would be considered an expert in a specific area if you get through 50 books. All of the knowledge would not be for vain either. It will likely make your work more efficient if you apply the new skills, and it might eventually lead to a promotion or higher position too.
Dictate Important Documents
I once took a grant writing class from a man who won over $30 million worth of grants for his clients. His secret to a successful business is his voice-activation software, which he uses everywhere, especially in the car.
Voice-activation software has a steep learning curve, but once you get it right, it can be your secret to getting more done in the car. You can dictate important documents, emails, articles, blog posts, and even your book. Imagine spending your drive into work getting a head start on a project or emails through dictation. You would enter your office, quickly check over your dictated material, and find that you are already an hour ahead of everyone else in the office as far as productivity goes. If that doesn’t get your boss’ attention, then I don’t know what will.
Meditate and Stretch
It is no secret that stress and sitting are the major health problems among working professionals. You can use your commute time to work on meditating and de-stressing. If you are stuck in stop and go traffic, you can also do simple and safe stretches. Try listening to guided meditation audio to help you diffuse your stressful day. Even doing a few kegels and butt squeezes during your commute can benefit your health.
Of course, driving is your most important job behind the wheel, so don’t allow any of the above recommendations to distract you or put you in danger. It is essential that you always use driving safety and common sense.
What do you do during a long commute?