We’ve all heard that we should work smarter, not harder. Sometimes that phrase sounds like a cop-out. Maybe it’s just a faster way of expressing that we need to take advantage of all our time and resources. And we know as a working adult student, your time is limited and should be maximized. One easy way to add more time to your day is to leverage your commuting time to your benefit.
1. Review previous lectures
The average American spends 26.9 minutes commuting one way. Multiply that by two, and you’re spending almost an hour in the car every day. So why not spend this “extra” hour every day in your car learning?
It’s so easy to record and review lectures with all the gadgets at our fingertips. If you’re struggling in a course, record the lectures. Listening to them multiple times will help you grasp the principles your professor is communicating. Playing it back in your car is a great way to absorb the information, without carving out additional time to listen to it later.
2. Listen to podcasts
If you want a change of pace from listening to your professors’ lectures, but you want to sharpen your mind, you should tune in to a podcast. There are thousands of options across topics and genres. You can grow professionally, hear personal stories, be entertained, and more! Download news podcasts, learn a language, engage in a book on tape—your options are limitless!
3. Be mindful
Maneuvering through traffic on your way to work or school can be stressful. No one likes it. Take the time on your commute to be mindful of how the stress is compounding with other stressors in your life. Relax! Mentally review what obligations you have for the day, consider what tasks you need to accomplish, take deep breaths, and prepare for the next few hours ahead – whatever they may bring.
4. Make phone calls
No one looks forward to making those mundane, but oftentimes necessary, phone calls. If you’re able to make these calls hands-free, make them in your vehicle. Cross that item off your list so you can clear your schedule to get down to the nitty gritty with your coursework and other responsibilities later.
Your commute time doesn’t have to be wasted time, like dead air on the radio or TV. There are ways for you to make more use of your time rather than simply getting from Point A to Point B. As a working adult student, your time is valuable. Spend time in your car learning. Spend it making the rest of your day easier and more productive.