Odds & Ends

Commute Countermeasures: How to Make Time in the Car More Valuable

stuck in traffic
Photo by Mint Images/REX/Shutterstock (9006570a) MODEL RELEASED Interior view of car, bearded man wearing baseball cap behind steering wheel. VARIOUS
Photo by Mint Images/REX/Shutterstock
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* Traffic woes can be curbed by incorporating a few tips 
* Podcasts, audiobooks and language lessons offer better way to learn on the go 
* Get more out of your commute

The average commuter spends roughly 42 hours a year in traffic. That’s nearly two full days stuck with nothing to do and literally nowhere to go. If you’re finding it hard to cope with your daily commute, here are a few tips to help make that ride a little more smooth.

stuck in traffic Photo by OJO Images/REX/Shutterstock

1. Listen to Audiobooks

Sick of the same old radio stations playing the same old songs over and over? Give audiobooks a try. With access to Audible’s massive online library, you’ll have instant access to millions of popular book titles. Great for passing the time (or for making your way through traffic), audiobooks offer a fresh take on your everyday drive. Best of all, audible has a one month free trial for new members.

Get Your Audible Free Trial

  

2. Check Out a Few Podcasts

Stay current on all things culture by checking out a few podcasts. There are tons of podcasts circulating the web, but if you’re new to the genre we recommend you start by checking out Radiolab, which covers everything from current events to life’s biggest mysteries, and This American Life, which offers a fresh take on an existing theme each and every week. Here are some of the best podcast apps to download:

stitcher podcast app Image courtesy of Stitcher

Stitcher for iOS Stitcher for Android

Downcast for iOS

RadioPublic for iOS RadioPublic for Android

  

3. Take an Audio Course

Ever feel like traffic is time wasted that could be put to better use? Why not try being productive? Taking an audio course is a smart and easy way to bone up on a few choice subjects while waiting to merge, and the Great Courses site has a number of exciting subjects. With over 480 different courses to choose from, you can work your brain while keeping your foot on the brake pedal.

The Great Courses Audio Courses

  

4. Learn a New Language

Ever wanted to learn a new language but can’t get over the initial hump of setting aside the time to study? Instead of finding excuses why you can’t study during the night, take your lessons in the car. Sure, learning a new language can be hard, but these audiobooks make it easier by taking it one step at a time. Living Language offers lessons custom-made to listen to while driving, and they have tons of different languages to choose from.

Living Language Image courtesy of Amazon

  

5. Try a Few Car Exercises

Working out while staying still may not sound like a thing, but it is. In fact, there are tons of exercises that were created for people to do while wading in traffic. From spine-stretching exercises to seated twists, you can help keep your body active without ever having to stand up. Lucky for you, this Daily Beast article offers up some really great tips.

stretching in car Photo by Mint Images/REX/Shutterstock
  

6. Record Your Thoughts

Sometimes the best ideas come when we least expect them. Maybe you’re in the shower and you’re suddenly struck with the beginnings of a brand new invention, or you’re driving in the car and have started ideating a great new app. For the latter, you can actually record your thoughts without ever having to lift a finger. Here are some of the best recording apps:

Commands for Siri App

Dragon Dictation for iOS Dragon Dictation for Android

Say it Mail it for iOS

  

7. Take Notes With a Dedicated Audio Recorder

While your phone offers tons of great recording apps, sometimes nothing beats a good old-fashioned digital recorder. This portable digital recorder offers extra clear audio by utilizing dynamic noise-canceling technology. The result is a useful recorder that’s able to catch more from greater distances while blocking out all that outside noise — which, in traffic, can be pretty cumbersome.

digital voice recorder Image courtesy of Amazon

  

8. Or Write Them Down Using This Handy Notepad

Best for when you’re stopped in traffic, this universal car notepad mounts onto your dashboard or windshield, making it easier to write in your car. The flexible angled mount helps you position your notepad any way you see fit, and with a custom-fitted cradle, you won’t have to worry about your papers sliding while you’re driving.

Zento Deals Car Memo Pad Image courtesy of Amazon

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