According to the U.S. Census Bureau the average commute time in America is 25.5 minutes. Mine is higher than that coming in at 40 minutes each way. That’s an hour and twenty minutes of my day spent sitting and accomplishing nothing more than listening to the radio or podcasts and making the occasional phone call. Sitting in traffic can be extremely boring, especially when you could be doing more productive things. One of my friends recently got that tired of sitting in traffic, he decided to purchase an electric scooter to get himself to and from work. He seems to love his new transport, he doesn’t have to wait in traffic and he can get some fresh air after sitting at his desk all day. I’ve heard a lot of good things about the e scooter commute method, perhaps I’ll have to do some research into it. An hour and twenty minutes every day is a lot of time that could be spent doing something beneficial and purposeful.
Tom Corely’s “20 Things The Rich Do Everyday” got me to rethink my commute. As part of the list Corely notes “63% of wealthy listen to audio books during commute to work vs. 5% for poor people”. This simple statement got me thinking about how I could better use my commute.
I haven’t started listening to audiobooks yet but I have used the time to work on another of the habits that Corely shared: “80% of wealthy are focused on accomplishing some single goal. Only 12% of the poor do this”.
My goal of creating this website and blog was realized after quietly thinking about it while commuting. Now I spend some of this daily time thinking about blog topics.
So, how can you stop wasting your commute? Turn off the radio. I know that might sound shocking coming from a guy who makes his living in the radio industry but seriously, turn off the radio for part of your commute.
We have become a society of content consumers (radio, television, internet, etc.) but are lacking in creating our own content or thoughts.
The first thing I’d suggest you do during your now quiet commute time is pray. Spend some time talking to God. Don’t worry about saying the words out loud and looking crazy to the person stopped next to you at the stop light. God knows what’s on your heart and mind. Simply collecting your thoughts and lifting them up to God silently is all you need to do.
Another thing to do with your quiet time is to form your own opinions on current events. We are bombarded with the opinions of other people (talk show hosts & talking heads) on a constant basis.
Many times we take those opinions on as our own without really giving them much thought as to how they relate to our lives and our faith.
My final suggestion would be to use the silence to reflect on your goals and how you can achieve them.
Don’t have any goals? Now would be a really good time to think about what you’d like to accomplish in the next week, month, and year.
I’m starting to rediscover just how much you can get done if you have a goal in mind. From my own experience I can tell you that spending a little quiet time each day where you can just let your mind wander is very calming. It’ll take your stress down a notch.
So go ahead. Try it. Turn off the radio for part of your commute. Just remember to turn it back on. I still have to support my family.