Thursday, February 27, 2014

How to Make the Most of Your Daily Commute

I commute to and from work every day in my car. My drive can be anywhere between 40 minutes to over an hour (those days are the WORST). To reduce my risk of a heart attack from the stress of commuting, I try to make the most of my twice daily ride. Here’s how I like to spend my time commuting:

Audiobooks are a girl's best friend.  And they can be yours too. If you’re like me you have a list of classics that you’ve been meaning to read but never got around to them. Sound expensive? It’s not. Remember that fabulous wealth of free knowledge called the library? Here’s a pro tip: register your card for your library’s digital network. This way you can put items on hold for pick-up, browse titles, join waitlists, and get notified when your requests are ready for pick-up (and due!) right from home or on your phone.

This works for digital books too. Most books I read today are on my kindle and from the library. Don’t have a kindle? Me either. Download the kindle app, that’s free too. You’ll need an Amazon account as well which if you don’t have one, sign up now and welcome to the 21st century my friend, you too can have a shrimp ecosystem delivered right to your door (true story!). You can place a hold on books, create lists, renew titles, and more. The best part? No late fees! The books disappear when your loan ends. Which also happens to be their one downside and why I still buy physical copies of books I’m reading for book club. And then I sell them on e-bay.

Recommendations:

There’s nothing worse than listening to an audiobook that's not engaging you, so don’t force it. I could NOT get through “The Great Gatsby” on audiobook but I wanted to re-read it before seeing the movie so I did put eyeballs to paper on that one and it’s one of my favorite books!

My favorites so far have been: “The Help”, “Perks of Being a Wall Flower”, all of the Dragon Tattoo books, “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime”, “The Art of Racing in the Rain”, “The Love Plot”, “Unbroken”, anything by David Sedaris is instantly funnier on audio- trust me, “Bossy Pants”, and “Lean In”

Books I did NOT enjoy listening to: “The Great Gatsby”, “The Princes of Ireland” (powered through it), “Middlesex” (powered through it), “Paris Wife”, and “The Time Keeper”

And yes, I count listening to a book as having read it. I read books with my eyeballs too so calm down I know what I’m saying. I've enjoyed some books in both forms and in some cases enjoyed them more in audio form! 

My newest commute buddy: Pod Casts!

This is a recent discovery of mine via a new friend. Your phone might have come with a pod cast app. If not, you can download it. It connects to your iTunes account.

Recommendations:

Nutrition Diva’s Quick and Dirty Tips. This pod cast is easily digestible (pun intended) useful information about eating healthy. I like that each “episode” is short, usually under 10 minutes and addresses everything from more scientific matters that I remember learning about in my nutrition 101 class like HDL vs. LDL, smoke points of different cooking oils and why that matters, foods that can prevent a sunburn (um, thank you!), to how to make a healthy and tasty smoothie and the difference between California or "hass" avocados and Florida avocados. 

Spanish Grammar Review: This is Spanish language review for advanced speakers but there are many language pod casts for all levels! I use this one to keep my mind sharp (I fear I’m losing my Spanish language skills).

Social Media Marketing Podcast: This is a pod cast from Social Media Examiner, a blog that I follow religiously (it relates to my job). There are TONS of specialized pod casts in every industry, find ones that apply to your job and stay up to date with what’s happening.

If you’re like me, you’ll subscribe to a lot of things that you think you should because they'll make you smarter or help you own the stock market, but then you’ll never listen to them or you’ll try them out and decide they’re not for you and lose interest in pod casts altogether. Try to find pod casts on subjects that you’re genuinely interested in. Bonus? You'll have so much to talk about at your next social event.

Pro tip: download new pod casts when you’re connected to Wi-Fi, you’ll use less data.

Music

If you know me, you know that my missed life calling was to be a DJ. I love music. Sometimes I like to put on a great playlist, zone out and just brave the traffic. Singing along to music just feels right. When I have a good mix on that I can sing to (yes I shamelessly sing my car), I actually notice my mood improving. The only downside to this is that I get sick of music quickly and I don’t stay on top of updating my iPod and I don’t pay for Spotify or anything (I’d rather own my music thank you) so I only do this every so often.

Let me know in the comments if you have any audiobook or pod cast recommendations. You can find me on GoodReads and keep up with my posts on Facebook!

1 comment:

  1. I just had a debate with a friend about whether or not audio books counted as "reading" a book. I totally think they do. This is slightly self-serving because I made a goal to read 100 books this year. I'm glad you validated my decision!

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