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Dec 11, 2009

Creative Uses for Commuting Time

guest lecurer, Nadia K.G., corporate executive and blogger

For those of us who are proficient multi-taskers, have poor attention spans, or simply can't deal with down time, I'm here to let you know that minutes and hours logged in your vehicle can be re-purposed for a wide range of activities.

Having spent 10 years with daily commutes exceeding two hours, I've gone from doing nothing-but-driving to coming up with a number of ways to make good use of the time. Here are the 10 driving activities that top my list:
#10 - Listening to the radio (satellite or old fashioned "terrestrial"). Only music for me, thanks. Talk radio gives me a headache and that would impair my driving.
#9 - Listening to CDs or MP3s. I like something with a good, fast beat. It helps me keep my eyes open.
#8 - License plate poker . Do you remember this game? Scan the plates you pass throughout the drive to find the best possible poker hand. Why? What else are you doing?
#7 - Learning a language. Those two hours per day in the car are perfect for language lessons on CD.
#6 - Singing a tune (with or without the help of the car stereo). Similar concept to singing in the shower: you can belt out a melody whether you have musical ability or not while in the privacy and safety of your very confined car. Just make sure the windows are up, just in case.
#5 - Meditation / breathing exercises. Sometimes you just need to take a few minutes to get centered. This is a new addition to my commuting repertoire as of this year and it's a great way to wind down from the day. Keep in mind that you'll want to practice the form of meditation that doesn't involve closing your eyes.

#4 - Just driving. That's it. Drive. Maybe look around a little. Kick it old school. This actually could be the same as #5 if you really think about it. Being in the moment and all of that.
#3 - Listening to an Audiobook. If you do this regularly, you can easily go through one a week. That's a great way to catch up with all those books you've been meaning to read. If you're anything like me that's a LONG list.
# 2 - Coffee. Do I need to say anything else? Okay, maybe tea. Or other beverage. You get the idea.
And the #1 activity of choice in the car is................
Dancing. Yes, that's right. Nothing's more fun than bopping around to an upbeat tune. And you're burning calories to boot! You'd be surprised how many moves you can pull off while seated. Get creative! You can invent new ways to look ridiculous while still operating the vehicle safely AND having a good time. What's better than that?
Hopefully, from the above, you were able to pick up an idea or two about how to take advantage of commute time. And with all of these recommendations, please remember to always drive responsibly.
a footnote from the Management:
notice how NKG doesn't say... dictate emails, dial-in to meetings, balance the checkbook, try to train the dog, TEXT....?!  You know all that Me Time we're always talking about -- take it where you can find it!

We'd like to hear your creative uses of your commuting time.  Do you carpool?  Ride with kids?  What are some additions to our list for situations where you share the ride?

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