If you’re like me, you spend a healthy portion of your time commuting to and from work each day. But that precious time doesn’t have to be wasted! Those minutes or hours on the road can be maximized to keep drive time from being down time.
Here are four pretty simple options to use your commute more effectively, besides belting out the latest Top 40 hits:
1. Podcasts: Knowledge is power, but information moves at a rapid pace. It can be difficult to stay abreast of new technology, trends and ideas. Odds are there is a podcast you can subscribe to that you can play each day to or from the office that will be informative and fun to listen to. Best of all, they are free, they are usually shorter than a TV sitcom and often have a more conversational style. I recommend the “Get-It-Done Guy’s Tips to Work Less and Do More.” For those of you in the PR and/or digital space, check out the For Immediate Release: The Hobson and Holtz Report and Six Pixels of Separation podcasts.
2. iTunesU: For those preferring a more lecture-based style of instruction or very detailed and in-depth explanation, iTunesU showcases some of the world’s best educators discussing various points of their field of study. iTunesU covers a variety of lectures and lessons from the basics to the supremely difficult. We don’t all need an overview of the Periodic Table of Elements, but some, like the Poynter Institute’s “What Great Bosses Know,” can go a long way to help you build your leadership chops, help you work on a team and handle difficult decisions. I like this series about small businesses from the Yale Entrepreneurial Institute, as well.
3. National Public Radio: Yes. Public radio. You have a local NPR station, and it will broadcast local and national content. Part of it is just plain informative programming on a number of topics, and part of it is an understanding of what type of content fits with the station’s character. So, if you’ve got a client story that could fit into the mix, you’ve already got some of the research legwork done. You can find a station near you here.
4. Conference calls: If you can take a call on the road without impairing your driving, it’s a good opportunity to chat in a quiet space. Be sure your windows are up and the road noise isn’t a factor. This is especially useful if you’re sitting in traffic. A Bluetooth headset is relatively inexpensive and will let you keep both hands on the wheel (if you don’t use public transportation).
Of course, for some, that time on four wheels is a welcome respite, where the hum of the engine and the rush of the wind are just the dull roar you need to decompress after an eventful day. Who am I to botch that as an effective use of time as well?
What do you do during your commute time?