Productivity Practice for Long Commutes and Idle Minds

While fighting the honking, swerving crawl of Manila traffic, I realized that what bothered me most about having to sit in the parking lots we call highways wasn’t the actual traffic (as awful as it is), but the idea of wasted time.

In the two hours I sit in my car taking what should be a 20 minute commute, I could have written an article, read a book, played a game, watched a movie, or spent time with friends and family. Multiply that two hours by the number of days I go in to work (3x/week) for for six months (the length of my contract), and I would have lost approximately 180 hours of productivity. That’s about a week of working straight, without eating or sleeping. Imagine the things I could have done and the places I could have seen.

The solution? Learn on the road. Here are a few ideas.

  • Listen to audiobooks, such as World War Z or A Fault in Our Stars (although bring tissues for that one)
  • Listen to TED talks, which are inspiring talks given by some of the greatest minds of our era
  • Learn a language (less fun than listening to World War Z, but probably more useful in the long term)
  • Call someone you haven’t spoken to in a while and catch up (using a hands-free device, of course)

Anything I missed? Let me know in the comments section!

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