Millions of people commute to work every day. The average commute takes about 26 minutes, although 17 percent of the community have a 45-minute commute each way. With 86 percent of the workforce driving to work instead of walking or taking public transportation, there are a lot of people on the roadway, especially in large cities.
Driving to work for many of us is a necessity, but it can become extremely dull. You’re taking the same path every day, observing the same scenery, and driving bumper to bumper with the same cars.
And since you’re a smart driver, you stay off your phone.
So, how can you make that daily commute a little more interesting? Here are a few ideas:
This might seem like a strange suggestion for a more entertaining commute, but you’d be surprised how much concentration it can take to make the drive as safe as possible.
When you’re actively thinking about the speed limit, putting an appropriate distance between you and other cars, defensively applying the breaks instead of whipping past others, consciously not touching your phone, and other defensive driving mechanisms, you’ll be surprised how quickly the time flies! Plus, you’ll arrive to your destination safely.
Of course, there’s often nothing you can do to stop an accident if someone else hits you, but there are always steps you can take afterward. The important thing is that you did your best to keep your daily commute safe.
Listen to Motivating Podcasts
Before leaving your house, download a few podcasts onto your phone. Choose speeches that motivate you, encouraging you to be the best version of yourself. There are millions of options to choose from.
If you’re trying to improve your procrastination habit, try iProcrastinate Podcast by procrastination expert Dr. Timothy A. Pychl. You could also try the Dave Ramsey Show if you’re working on saving for retirement.
The options are endless—you can better yourself and stay entertained on your daily commute.
Listen to an Audio Book
For $15.99 per month, you can subscribe to Audible and receive one audio book per month. You can easily listen to a whole novel in a month of commuting. Audible has pretty much everything—romance, mystery, westerns, biographies, self-help books, fantasy, and beyond.
Of course, if you don’t want to pay the monthly fee for Audible, there are other options for getting free audiobooks. Your local library, for example, may have an audiobook app that allows you to check out audio books for free.
Librivox, Overdrive, Lit2Go, Project Gutenberg, Open Culture, Mind Webs, Loyal Books, and many other apps also feature free books you can read to entertain you on your commute.
Discover New Tunes
You likely have a playlist on Spotify, YouTube, or Apple Music with your favorite songs that you’ve been listening to since high school. It’s fun to jam out to these beats while you’re alone in the car, but maybe it’s time to try something new!
Most music streaming apps offer recommendations for music that you might love. They often curate full playlists so you can try new music. Before leaving the house, pull up one of these playlists and listen to it from start to finish on your commute. You might find your new favorite song!
Relax as You Drive
How can you relax as you drive when you’re trying to maintain a defensive position and there’s gridlock traffic everywhere you look? Driving to and from work can be stressful, but there are tactics to help you mentally relax while you go.
While closed-eye meditation while driving is obviously not an option, you could try a form of meditation that allows you to stay alert and attentive to what you’re doing. Using a method known as progressive relaxation, you can relax each group of muscles for five seconds at a time. Start at your feet and move up your body until you get to the top of your head.
There are also breathing exercises you can try, which are great if you need to calm down after a stressful day. Find an app with guided breathing exercises to help the stress of the day melt away and make your commute so much more enjoyable.