Use Your Drive Time to Your Advantage


September 9, 2013

I took my car to my dealership this week for a Xylon treatment.  It’s one of those things that is great to have done, but the hassle of having to drop my car off, on a weekday at 9:00 am, and pick up a rental car was something I didn’t look forward to.  The dealership had great service and the rental car was ready for me, but the idea of having to drive a car I’m not familiar with as the forecast called for snow and ice didn’t make me feel very confident.  At any rate, about twenty minutes after arriving, I was on my way in a 2011 Cadillac DTS. Sweet ride…..but felt larger than driving a bus.  This was not exactly my idea of fun.

So, away I go in my caddy and I’m trying to find something on the XM radio.  Only, it’s not activated.  I try to remember some local stations so that I can find something good to listen to on my way to work.  I settle in on a station that has a song I know, but it quickly ends.  Now it’s commercial time.  I sat through twelve minutes of commercials before the next song!

I don’t have time to sit through twelve minutes of commercials.  I felt like I was completely wasting my time.  I sat there cursing the local radio and hating the fact I couldn’t get any news or information of value.  That’s when I realized that there are many people who still don’t purchase their radio experience.  They listen to local radio.

These are some of the same people who argue that they don’t have time to learn social media, to read a blog, to learn a new tool or technology.  But like me that day, they get those same twelve minutes stolen from them all the time.  I hope that I can use this example in the future when I hear the argument of not having time to learn.  I’m thinking I can give examples of other things they can do with their drive time rather than listen to the excessive commercial time on local radio.

Making Good Use of Your Drive Time

  • Download podcasts that you can listen to on your iPod or other device.  Shows such as HR Happy Hour, DriveThru HR, and other industry  radio shows can be found on BlogTalk radio.
  • Listen to audio books that relate to self improvement or business acumen.
  • Use your smartphone to listen to “how to” videos on YouTube.

What are some other ways to spend your time in the car to make better use of it than listening to commercials?  Share your thoughts with me in the comments.


  • Trish,
    Great reminder of how we can optimize our time. Time management is a key skill set for anyone. Especially for those who have a lot of responsibilities. One thing I found helpful is to use the audio recorder function on my cell phone, to record ideas or as reminders of things I want to do that day. Hope this helps someone. Thank you for your great post and time.


  • Great ideas Trish. But one note of warning from one who has done tons of commuting, if you are listening to your iPod or other device….don’t use headphones. It is dangerous and probably illegal to use devises that are in both ears.

  • What about listening to NPR? It’s informative, offers a different perspective from mainstream outlets, and is commercial free!

  • Trish, I love listening to… nothing! I have a ~40 minute commute and don’t have anything going on the radio the entire time. I think of ideas for work problems, blog posts, and collaborative projects I can build with others.

  • I download The Economist each week on my ipod (free audio with the subscription), the entire magazine is read with wonderful British accents. It would be very hard to find the time each week to sit down and read the entire magazine. It does take a lot of time, so I miss listening to NPR. I also download The Great Courses on my ipod, Professor Robert Greenberg’s Classical and Orchestral volumes are my favorites.

  • Trish, Nice article. One thing I would change about it, though, is the use of the words “they get those same twelve minutes stolen from them all the time.” If we turn on the radio and leave it on when we have no interest in the programming, our minutes are not being stolen from us. They are being wasted by us. Making the shift of taking responsibility for our time versus thinking some airborne frequency has power over us is foundational to implementing and maintaining the good habits you’re encouraging us to make.

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About Trish

A former HR executive and HCM product leader with over 20 years of experience.


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