5 Ways To Make Your Commute More Productive

Although I only live 25 miles away from the office, unfortunately it averages between 45 minutes to an hour and 10 minutes to drive in.

For years I used to just listen to the radio or music on the way to and from work when one day it dawned on me, that’s 2 hours a day or 10 hours a week of dead time. That is like an extra working day!

I decided to find some things that I could do to safely fill this massive void of over 480 hours a year of dead time and this is what seems to work well for me:

  1. Podcasts
  2. Audiobooks
  3. Conference calls
  4. Keeping in touch with friends in different time zones
  5. Dictating notes and ideas to yourself

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1. Podcasts

Podcasts are my default go to when I get in the car. I use an app called Pocket Casts to aggregate my different podcasts into date order and just bosh through them. The Great thing about using Pocket Casts is that it is cross platform and also has a web version too so no matter what device you have and where you are, you can still pick up where you left off!

You can find out more by visiting https://www.pocketcasts.com/

Image of Pocket Casts Podcast Player
Pocket Casts Podcast Player

I like to keep a mix of different topics, some industry related, some comedy and some informative. It is almost like programming my own radio station.

Some of the podcasts I listen to are:

The Vergecast

https://pca.st/vergecast

Hello! This is The Vergecast, the flagship podcast of The Verge… and your life. Every Friday, Nilay Patel, Dieter Bohn, and Paul Miller make sense of the week’s tech news with help from our diverse and wide-ranging staff. And on Tuesdays, Nilay hosts in-depth, one-on-one interviews with major technology leaders. Join us every week for a fun, deeply nerdy, often off-the-rails conversation about what’s happening now (and next) in technology and gadgets.

Stuff you should know

https://pca.st/sysk

If you’ve ever wanted to know about champagne, satanism, the Stonewall Uprising, chaos theory, LSD, El Nino, true crime and Rosa Parks then look no further. Josh and Chuck have you covered.

No Such Thing As A Fish

https://pca.st/nosuchthing

A podcast from the QI offices in which the writers of the hit BBC show huddle around a microphone and discuss the best things they’ve found out this week. Hosted by Dan Schreiber (@schreiberland) with James Harkin (@jamesharkin), Andrew Hunter Murray (@andrewhunterm), and Anna Ptaszynski (#GetAnnaOnTwitter)

The WIRED Podcast

https://pca.st/wiredcouk

The award-winning WIRED UK Podcast with James Temperton and the rest of the team. Listen every week for the an informed and entertaining rundown of latest technology, science, business and culture news. New episodes every Friday.

Smashing Security

https://pca.st/47UH

A helpful and hilarious take on the week’s tech SNAFUs. Computer security industry veterans Graham Cluley and Carole Theriault chat with guests about cybercrime, hacking, and online privacy. It’s not your typical cybersecurity podcast… Winner: “Best Security Podcast 2018.” Follow the podcast on Twitter at @SmashinSecurity, and subscribe in Castbox or your favourite podcast app. New episodes released every Thursday.

The Mind Muscle Project

https://pca.st/vvwu

Weekly discussions and interviews on self-improvement, fitness and well being niche topics and exciting and influential minds. Join us on a journey of exercising the muscle inside your head.

Reply All

https://pca.st/replyall

“‘A podcast about the internet’ that is actually an unfailingly original exploration of modern life and how to survive it.” – The Guardian. Hosted by PJ Vogt and Alex Goldman, from Gimlet.

2. Audiobooks

I always think to myself that I should read more. This is the next best thing. You can sign up for a free account with Audible* and get your first book for free by following this link – Start your Free Audible Trial Now*

I currently have a thing for Self Improvement, Fitness and Mindset books but audible has a wealth of books to choose from. Here are some of my favourites that I have listened to recently.

Chasing Excellence: A Story About Building the World’s Fittest Athlete – Ben Bergeron

CrossFit trainer Ben Bergeron has helped build the world’s fittest athletes, but he’s not like other coaches. He believes that greatness is not for the elite few; that winning is a result, not a goal; and that character, not talent, is what makes a true champion. His powerful philosophy can help anyone excel at all aspects of life.

Get Chasing Excellence on Audible*

Start Now. Get Perfect Later – Rob Moore

What are you waiting for? If you have a burning ambition, brilliant business idea or creative passion, now is the time to get going. Don’t wait around for everything to fall magically into place – get started, get going and get perfect later. It’s the fastest route to success.

Get Start Now. Get Perfect Later on Audible*

Rich Dad Poor Dad – Robert Kiyosaki

Rich Dad Poor Dad will….
– Explode the myth that you need to earn a high income to become rich
Challenge the belief that your house is an asset
– Show parents why they can’t rely on the school system to teach their kids about money
– Define once and for all an asset and a liability
– Teach you what to teach your kids about money for their future financial success

Get Rich Dad Poor Dad on Audible*

Start with Why – Simon Sinek

Why are some people and organizations more innovative, more influential, and more profitable than others? Why do some command greater loyalty from customers and employees alike? Even among the successful, why are so few able to repeat their successes over and over?
People like Martin Luther King, Jr.; Steve Jobs; and the Wright Brothers might have little in common, but they all started with why.


Get Start with Why on Audible*

Ender’s Game Alive

Ender’s Game Alive puts you into Battle School with young Andrew “Ender” Wiggin, as he trains to become the general who will lead Earth against the Formics, the alien “buggers”. Removed from his family at the age of six, Ender must prove his strength and his leadership, even as he fights his own doubts. The stakes are nothing less than the fate of humankind.

Get Ender’s Game Alive on Audible*

3. Conference calls

By scheduling some of your calls for your drive in / home, you can still be productive and start your day off more focused or wrap up a day well done. This one is works well on the calls where you just need to listen, as you can simply mute your hands free and just chip in when necessary.

There is also another benefit of ensuring that you are on the road at the right time to join the call.

4. Keeping in touch with friends in different time zones

New Zealand is 12 hours ahead of me so when I am starting my day, my friend is just starting to wind his down. A perfect time to catch up before he gets home from his commute.

I like to use an app called Telegramto keep in touch with everyone, it is similar to Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp without the added worry of Facebook changing their privacy policy and spying on you.

5. Dictating Notes and ideas to yourself

How about using Google Assistant or Siri as a dictaphone to dump any ideas you may have or plans for the day whilst you are driving?

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