Lessons From a Road Warrior: 5 Activities For a Productive Commute

Brent Pittman —  05/30/2013
How do you spend your commuting time? Photo Credit: neoporcupine via Compfight cc

How do you spend your commute? Photo Credit: neoporcupine via Compfight cc

I’m quickly becoming a seasoned road warrior with my new day job and driving nearly 120 miles round trip per day.

I figure that I’ll spend around 10-15 hours per week in the car, so I better make this time productive or at least keep me sane–you can only listen to the top 40 for only so long right?

I bet you have a commute of some sort too since the national average is around 23 minutes according to Forbes.

Now what will we do with all this time trapped in the car?

5 Activities for a Productive Commute to Work

Below are a few ideas of how you can maximize your commute.

Keep in mind, your main task is to drive and to do it safely (Don’t Text and Drive) If these tasks distract you from being a safe driver, please don’t engage them (This was my disclaimer).

1. Memorize inspirational quotes- Have a quote on a 3 x 5 card and review it. Pick quotes by business leaders, quotes from the Bible, or other religious texts.

Just think–by the end of the year you’ll have memorized around 50 quotes!

2. Listen to Podcasts- Podcasts are replacing the radio as way to consume information and as a form of entertainment. Listen via Stitcher or other player of choice.

3. Audio Books- No longer do you have to carry that huge plastic box of books on tape. With one simple click, you can purchase a book straight to your smart phone. Audible.com is a great place to start.

Many libraries also offer free audio books and yes–even the old CD of books if you’re not into all that techie mumbo jumbo. 

4. Pray/Meditate/Reflect- This is an awesome opportunity to engage in a little prayer and meditation.

5. Sit in silence- Turn off the stimulus devices and let your mind wander; just don’t let the steering wheel drift. When else can you have peace and quiet?

Listen to a bestseller for $7.49 at audible.com!

Don’t Squander Your Commute

Believe me I realize that commuting to work is tough!  The traffic is terrible, your back hurts, and that guy in front of you won’t turn off his blinker, yet a commute is a valuable gift.

Don’t squander the time you’ve been given listening to top 40 drivel.

What do you do to make the most of your commute to work?

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Brent Pittman

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Brent is a financial coach and writer looking for the perfect donut. He believes personal finance should be both fun and accessible to anyone willing to learn.
  • KNS_Financial

    I have yet to start listening to podcasts, but I plan to soon. For now, I either listen to music, sermons from my pastor (which is technically a podcast), or an audio bible. Sometimes I do take the time to pray, which usually helps with my patience in traffic 😉

    Two other things that I do are write articles (I dictate them and transcribe later using Dragon) and I make videos for my YouTube channel (the weight loss & health one).

    I like the idea of trying to make our commutes productive. I am always looking for ways to redeem the time.


    • I’d like to learn how you use Dragon to write articles! That would save me tons and time and enable me to put out more content.

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  • Eva and I are in the car at least 8 hours a week going back and forth to her climbing gym. We discovered audio books about this time last year which led to her starting a personal finance blog for teens. I love the memorization idea and we will give that a try – thanks!

  • I use the time to think through solutions for problems at work. With no one bothering me, I can really dig into solutions.

    • The silence is nice, but I’d rather be exercising or with my family.

      • Well of course, but I still have to work, so you better get the best out of the commute that you can.

  • All time is valuable, and can be put to use. Even if that use is to relax and decompress, it’s important. For me, driving is a good time to get my mind off work, and shift gears to thinking of other things.

  • Funancials

    I am constantly in my car as I cover a territory. I try to listen to podcasts and (strangely) I listen to long Youtube videos, but normally I’m talking on the phone.

    I remember checking out an audio book website a few years ago (not sure if it was audible), but the price was ridiculous. With audible, can you purchase individual books or do you buy a subscription?

    • I think the Gold level lets you listen to as much as you want per month. Otherwise it’s pay per download, but it seems cheaper than other ways to consume books.

  • I drive about 30 miles a day, but even with shifting my work day up earlier it’s still about 1.5 hours per day. I’ve been listening to a lot of podcasts. I’ll have to look into stitcher. hadn’t heard of that before.

    • I really dig Stitcher since it’s easy to live stream and they suggest relevant streams you might like.

  • I also drive about 120 miles per day and the public library and audiobooks are the only way I remain sane. It works, because I don’t have to take time away from my family to read the books I love. Best of all, it’s free from the library!