Sitting in traffic is the bane of many of our existences. Listening to the radio is an obvious use of this time, but there is so much more out there to liven up commutes. Here are six ideas to help you pass time.
1. Listen to Podcasts
For those unfamiliar with podcasts, a podcast is a digital radio show that you can download. There are podcasts for pretty much any interest you may have. You can get anything out of podcasts. There are podcasts about movies, history, politics, music, and so much more. If you want to become smarter, there are tons of podcasts that will increase your knowledge. If you want to laugh, you have plenty of comedic podcasts to choose from. If you are weird and prefer to cry on your way to work, there are probably podcasts that can achieve that too.
You can download podcasts via a variety of mediums, but the most popular are iTunes or Stitcher (Android app). When you find a podcast that you like, subscribe to it so that it is auto-downloaded to your device. Then, it will be there and ready for your commute.
2. Learn a New Language
The time spent in the car every day can be put to good use by using this time to learn a new language. Many language learning programs rely on flashcards or apps that would take your eyes off the road. However, the highly regarded Pimsleur Method is an audio course that works great in the car. The Pimsleur courses are pricey, but if you are serious about learning a language, it will get the job done quickly.
3. Yell at Inanimate Objects Near the Road
If you get bored on your long commute, why not have conversations with objects on the side of the road. Curse at that tree and ask why it has not erradicated poverty. See that light pole? See if it knows what the meaning of life is. Maybe you should get especially tough on that power line running overhead. Why doesn’t it get a job and contribute to society!? Sure, the people in cars around you may think you are crazy, but we’re all a little crazy, right?
4. Ponder Your Life
If you prefer to keep your dignity intact by not yelling at inanimate objects, you can silently use your imagination to ponder your life. What’s the closest you’ve come to death without even knowing it? What would life be like if you had chosen a different field of study? What will the world be like when you are old? The possibilities are endless. When you get lost in thought, the time of the commute can slowly slip away. Just be sure that you are alert enough to keep your eyes on the road and your reaction time short!
5. Make a Playlist You Can Jam To
We all have those songs that are our guilty pleasures. You would never get caught listening to them by people you know. However, when you are on the road surrounded by strangers in their cars, it is socially acceptable to jam to those embarrassing tracks. Make a playlist of all your guilty pleasure songs, turn the volume up, and make that steering wheel your microphone. At least you will make the people sitting in traffic around you laugh.
Sometimes it’s hard to find time to take in literature in today’s digital society. Your commute is an excellent time to catch-up on your reading list. If you want to use your time productively, you can listen to informative non-fiction books. If you’d rather be transported to a faraway land where they don’t have traffic, fiction books will do the trick. Think of all the books you can get through in an entire year of commuting.