Did you know the average American spends 25.4 minutes commuting to work EACH way? That may sound like a small figure in the grand scheme of things but when you crunch some numbers, that adds up to be about 5 whole work weeks of commuting in one year! Needless to say, whether it’s convenient or necessary almost everyone commutes, and let’s face it, we all hate driving. Coming from a family of extensive commuters, I’ve always found a commute to work to be a norm in modern society. My brother used to take an hour long ferry ride to cross the bay (which was equipped with Wi-Fi and a full bar… oh my the struggle) and my mother-in-law, used to drive an hour and forty five minutes ONE WAY!
Driving, taking the bus, or riding your bike, a commute can be one mindless waste of time OR a carefully scheduled period of productivity. According to this book
, psychologist and author Jonathan Haidt illustrates that your commute is one of three main external factors that can affect your every day happiness. So here are some ways for you to utilize those mindless minutes and turn them into a productive part of your day.
5 Ways To Make Your Commute Productive:
Convos with God
Every morning Matthew plugs in his phone and starts us off with Gospel music. This is a relaxing and inspirational start to our day. I then read aloud “Today’s Devotion” from the Our Daily Bread app and typically we will have a quick prayer together. If you’re alone, the Bible app reads aloud to you; last year I got through half the Bible in less than 4 months!
Catch up with Family
Matthew calls it Daddy-Daughter Fridays because I call my dad every Friday after work. I will call my mom several times throughout the week and a grandparent on Thursdays. Talking on the phone makes any commute go by faster and helps you stay in the loop. Plus what parent doesn’t want to hear from their grown child every week? Haha. When Matthew drives, I will catch up on my text messages to all my besties.
Get Your News Fix
Political Science being one of my majors in college, I’m the opposite of the apathetic citizen, and my husband for that matter. However, I don’t have time to scour the web for an unbiased opinion on what’s going on in the world and Matthew would definitely not let me listen to news radio on the drive so I’ve found the next best thing since sliced bread, The Skimm. It’s a quick, fun way to get the skinny on all things, politics, celebrities, sports, and much more. Even Matthew, who had never registered to vote until he met me, likes reading The Skimm. It takes less than 5 minutes to read and you can say bye-bye to that heedless look on your face during your coworkers lunch room talks.
I’ve always been a fan of continuing education and learning #Nerd, but with all the free stuff out there how can you not take advantage to hone that brain of yours? Podcasts are great for learning, inspiring, cheering up.. You name it.. there’s a podcast for it. Here are our top Podcasts we think you should listen to:
- Stuff You Should Know
- The City Church – Judah Smith
- How I built this
- Modern Love
- Stuff To Blow Your Mind
- Ask Me Another
When I used to take Pilates 100 years ago, I remember one key thing from my instructor… a great way to breath to strengthen your core:
Inhale through your nose hard (as if pulling your belly button to your spine) and while contracting your abs as tight as possible exhale all your breath out through your mouth slowly, then repeat.
I do this often while driving; can you imagine what your abs would look like after your hour long commute? I get sleepy at the wheel sometimes, so small exercises wake me up. Check out this article on how being stuck behind the wheel doesn’t stop Susan Waits from getting her core strengthening exercises in while en route.
When we moved about an hour north from where we worked, and our coworkers all said the same thing,
“Oh I bet that drive is horrible!”
I would laugh and tell them it’s not THAT bad. Despite the long drive it’s actually one of the things we look forward to and we’ve certainly mastered the commute routine!
Pia hates car seats by the way. Luckily she falls into a deep coma about 45 seconds into the drive. #PraiseJesus
How long are your commutes? What do you do to occupy your time during your travels?
P.S. Traveling with bae? Here’s a great audio book for you to follow with your partner.