I stumbled upon a cool interactive map over the weekend which shares the average commute time to work, by zip code, across the United States. I’m easily amused. 🙂
According to the tool, the average commute time to work in the US is 25.4 minutes.
Almost an hour in the car/bus/train each day.
I punched in my zip code here in Sussex, NJ (07461) and came up with an average commute to work of 40 minutes. While my drive time is quite a bit longer each day, that’s probably a pretty close number locally from what I can tell. Give it a try by clicking here and entering your zip code or simply hovering around the map!
If you’re in field sales, you add to these figures the drive time between customers and you end up with loads of windshield time each and every week. And since time is truly our greatest resource, it’s fair to evaluate what we’re doing with that time and what we’re getting in return.
I subscribe to the idea that we shouldn’t waste the time we’re given on the road – it can be a gift. So, here are just 5 ideas to think about to help crush your commute and make better use of your time on the road:
- Subscribe to Podcasts: Podcasts are digital audio files made available online to download to a computer or mobile device. There are TONS out there right now covering every topic you can imagine. If you’re new to this technology and using an iPhone, you can simply download the free podcast app, search for content you might like and subscribe. Once you’re subscribed, new content from that podcast will hit your phone when published and you can listen away during your commute time. A few that I subscribe to are pictured below along with the free podcast app icon.
- Listen to audio books: I love to read books but find it really difficult to find time to do it these days. I tried reading before bed recently and realized quickly it would take me 6 years to finish because I fell asleep with the book on my face in about 5 minutes. A solution to this dilemma is audio books. Again, not exactly a new phenomenon but if you haven’t leveraged the technology right on your phone to listen during your commute yet – try it! I’m using the Audible App on my iPhone and just finished up Bob Burg’s Go Givers Sell More, which my team and I are using for a book club discussion. I highly recommend it!
- Convert your online reading to audio: I’m just trying this out now. There are several apps which can not only help collect and organize online content for you (news articles, blog posts, etc.) but will convert it into audio format for consuming on your drive to work. I’ve been trying out the Pocket app which is quite simple to use and has worked well so far. I’m struggling a bit with the voice over, which is a little clunky / robotic, but it does the job. I would love any other suggestions on this one from you techies out there!
- Schedule your phone calls: Catching up with folks during drive time is another excellent way to make the most of a long commute and one I’d guess most of us do pretty naturally. A simple suggestion here is to be intentional with some of these calls and schedule them in advance to manage the time more effectively. I can do better with this one for sure.
- Crank up the tunes: Finally, let’s not disrespect good ‘ol music! While I haven’t done research on the topic, it is clear that music has a direct impact on our emotional state (one reason we used to make mix tapes for the special people in our lives back in the day…) Use part of your commute time to play music that suits the state of mind you’re looking for at work. Through the technological wonder of such tools as satellite radio, iTunes, Spotify and Pandora you can literally tailor your musical experience and rock your commute!
A couple of questions I’d love to hear some feedback on in the comments section of the blog if you get a moment:
- How long are you “on the road” each day for work?
- What are some ways you find useful to make the most of your commute time?
Have a great rest of the week and thanks always for taking some time to check out the blog!
Until next time,