If you’re like any one of the millions of working Americans, odds are that you commute to work in some, way, shape or form. And based on probabilities, the odds are also pretty likely that you commute by driving your own car to work. Now when you realize that commuting not just involves driving to work but also driving back home from work, along with the fact that you are probably doing this five days a week, you can immediately see that there is a lot of time spent driving in your car. I personally realized pretty early on that there are so many productive things that I can do while in my car driving to and from work, and I wanted to share that with you today. So here are a few of my favorite activities to do in order to remain productive on the way to and from work.
If you are an avid singer and want to practice singing, doing it in the car is the perfect solution. While you may think that there are plenty of other places to sing to your hearts content without worrying about what other people think, there really aren’t any. I used to sing in the shower, but then realized that when I was belting out notes, everyone in my apartment could hear me, which was pretty embarrassing. Singing in a closed car however almost creates a soundproof barrier to limit any noise that anyone on the outside can hear. In fact, the only people that could feasibly hear you singing even at your loudest are pedestrians who are right next to the car, or other drivers who have their windows down next to you. But even then, the sound would be quite muffled and barely noticeable, especially when compared to how loud it would be inside the car with you singing! Not to mention that they would all most likely be complete strangers meaning you wouldn’t even care if they heard you singing in the first place.
If you are especially self-conscious about staying in tune, or are just trying to learn how to hit the high notes (which inevitably come with notes that go flat as you go up in range), singing in the car is the perfect solution. Simply pre-select a set of songs that you want to use to practice, and turn on your playlist as soon as you turn the car on. This is hands down my favorite activity to do in the car and really allows me to practice my range and overall singing ability in a place where none of my friends or family can hear me!
Another way great activity is to exercise with forearm grippers while driving. This is a simple way to get some physical activity in during your “down time” while driving to and from work. Forearm grippers are just like gardening clippers, but much smaller. Small enough to fit in the palm of your hand. They work by having a pre-defined (or sometimes variable) resistance that requires the use of your forearm muscles to close tight. Simply fit both ends of the handle in your hand and then just “squeeze” to try and close the grippers. That is one rep and depending on the grippers you use can be a lot of work. Doing this on the way to work is a great way to actually exercise without leaving your seat. And trust me when I say that if you use the right pair of grippers, they can really get your heartrate up and help you burn calories.
Just make sure that you keep your eyes on the road while doing these exercises (there’s really no reason to look down at the grippers while you are using them anyway). And make sure that unless you are at a stoplight, that you are only using one set of grippers for one hand, with your other hand firmly on the steering wheel. If you’re interested in trying this yourself, check out the Captains of Crush product for some great stainless-steel grippers that come in many different sizes and are guaranteed to last a lifetime.
If you want to pass the time with some simple yet effective audio stimulation, the learning a new language or “reading” a book would be perfect for you. There are plenty of programs out there that use audio files to teach you a new language, most commonly by having you repeat phrases that they say, or by answering questions or translating sentences or words in both languages. Or you can alternatively download an audio book online and have your car “read” the book to you while you passively listen on the road.
Both of these are great examples of leveraging time in your favor since they do not involve too much thinking to do. The reason this all works is because the route you are taking to and from work is pre-defined and programmed into your brain after weeks of driving the exact roadways and taking the exact same exits. When you are driving to places other than work, most of the time your brain is thinking about where you need to go next, or interpreting what the GPS is telling you to do. In those instances, it is hard to also be able to listen to language learning tools or audiobooks at the same time. However, when going to and from work, you barely have to think twice about where you are going, meaning you can easily do either of these productive activities in the background.
One final activity that I’ll suggest doing in your car is Kegel exercises. The Kegel muscles are also known as pelvic floor muscles and they are basically the muscles that allow you to stop urination midstream. And as strange as that sounds, exercising these muscles have a lot of benefits not just with respect to your health, but also with respect to your sexual life as well. They can help with pregnancy in women and help keep guys from ejaculating prematurely. But there are many other benefits as well. Best of all, this exercise can literally be done anywhere and at any time, making it the perfect activity to do while driving your car to and from work.
If you want more information on Kegel exercises, check out this guide to Kegel exercises. They’ll provide a lot more detail on how to actually do the exercises and the many other benefits, which I feel is better than me trying to explain all of them.
No matter how long you’ve been driving to work, hopefully you now realize that your daily commute doesn’t need to just be a means of getting from Point A to Point B, and then back to Point A at the end of the day. There are so many different ways to make your commute more productive, and the examples above are just the tip of the iceberg. Hopefully you do try some of the activities I’ve mentioned, or even come up with your own activities that are relevant to you and your own goals. Because time is so precious, making the most out of even something as simple as your daily commute is absolutely invaluable in terms of your own personal development, and definitely something that you won’t regret.