3 Ways to Make Your Commute Not So Miserably Boring

3 Ways to Make Your Commute Not So Miserably Boring

My morning commute is about 30 minutes. I know, I know—comparatively speaking to some of my friends in cities like Atlanta or Houston, 30 minutes is nothing. But it still feels long—30 minutes of just staring at the road and making sure other drivers don’t veer into my lane each morning. It’s a little… dull.

And to those with reliable public transportation: I am actually jealous of your commute no matter the length, because at least you can read a book or write or work on something visually that a drive does not allow (and an extra special envy for those who live in London and can take the gloriously clean and efficient Underground).

In an effort to change my attitude toward the roughly one hour a day I spend staring at a road, I’ve decided to mix my morning commute up instead of just listening to the same 10 albums on repeat.

Here are 3 ways I’m trying to make my morning commute not so miserably boring.

// 1. Podcasts //

I once thought that podcasts wouldn’t be able to hold my attention—I presumed podcasts would be a bit of a bore for me. Like most things I jump to baseless conclusions with (i.e. avocados), I was wrong.

My podcast preferences tend to lean toward discussions of creativity and entrepreneurship, though NPR’s All Songs Considered receives a special shout out, especially the episode with The 1975’s Matt Healy as guest DJ.

Some of my favorite favorite podcasts include:

Building A Story Brand

Building A Story Brand is a podcast by author and Story Brand biz owner Donald Miller (related: everyone should read Blue Like Jazz). Topics focus on ways small business can help clarify their message and grow their brand.

Magic Lessons

By far my favorite podcast, Magic Lessons by author Liz Gilbert explores creativity with interviews from both aspiring artists and those living their creative dreams. Here’s to hoping for a new season soon! Also, Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear is the book genesis of this podcast, and it is INCREDIBLE. Read it!

Girlboss Radio

This podcast by entrepreneur Sophia Amoruso interviews other women biz owners, asking them questions like what their first job was and how their business found success. It’s definitely worth a listen for anyone who dreams of owning their own business.

TED Radio Hour

The thought-provoking topics characteristic of TED Talks, but as podcasts. Yes, please.

// 2. Learning A Second Language //

I took French for two years in college and even got to the point where I could (slowly) read through the first Harry Potter. Then I promptly forgot it all. BUT, in an effort to move beyond just saying, “I wish I could speak French,” I’ve decided to use my morning commute as a means to refresh my French.

Learning a language by textbook builds the necessary vocabulary and grammar base you need, but it’s audible learning that makes it possible to listen, understand, and converse in the language. And a morning commute in your car is the perfect place for practice.

Ways I’m refreshing my French include:

Albums

  • Learn In Your Car: French Level 1

Podcasts

(I haven’t listened to these yet, but these are two podcasts I’ve downloaded and plan on trying out.)

  • Learn French with Alexa
  • Learn French with Daily Podcasts

Audiobooks

I haven’t downloaded a French audiobook yet, but I’m looking to download the first Harry Potter and other children’s books in French.

// 3. New Music //

I tend to get stuck in a music rut—not necessarily a bad thing, because I really don’t mind listening to The 1975 on repeat for weeks on end.

BUT this keeps me from discovering new music that I may love just as much. So in order to shake up my music listening routine, I try to regularly add to my “New Tunez” playlist on Apple Music. I find songs through soliciting my music-aware friends for suggestions (The “Youth” playlist from my friend Nick and all of Lane’s playlists from Spotify are prime, including this one she created for That First Year), perusing iTunes recommendations based on my current band preferences, and finding playlists on Spotify, which I then add to my playlist. New tunes definitely improves a routine commute.

Am I missing anything? What do you do to make your morning commute not a waste of time?

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