Currently, I spend about 10 HOURS commuting to and from work. Every. Week.
#LifeGoals, I know.
That does not even take into account the time I spend in my car running errands or attempting to have a social life.
The average American takes 25.4 minutes to travel to work (national average). So, I am a bit above average. Studies show that you will spend a LARGE chunk of your lifetime in a car. About 101 minutes per day, or 37,935 hours spent driving covering around 798,000 miles. I think that’s mind blowing.
What do we do with that time? I absolutely abhor feeling like my time is wasted. Commuting and traffic would definitely normally fit into that category, were it not for the fact that I turned it into something that helps me learn and grow.
I listen to podcasts.
The exact channels and number that I subscribe to have changed since I first starting listening to podcasts about 3 years ago, but I thought I would share with you the ones that I feel have contributed the most in terms of knowledge, skills, and satisfaction gained.
Here are my TOP FIVE:
I loved reading both Freakonomics and Superfreakonomics when I was in college and was ecstatic to find that they also had a weekly podcasts exploring the hidden side of everything. From cheating and crime to parenting and sports, you will see connections that you never realized and hear from the best of all fields – Nobel laureates, entrepreneurs, social scientists, and, of course, economists. The data alone gives me good feelings all around. Yeah, I’m a huge nerd. Have you not figured this out yet?
Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me!
NPR’s weekly current events quiz. I don’t have television service at home and am not on social media enough to always know what’s going on in the world outside my bubble. Wait Wait allows me to both learn about goings on and laugh at the same time as they report on the mundane as well as the eccentric. Each week usually also has a featured special guest, like famous authors, musicians, and actors. My mom actually went to a live taping in Chicago once as a gift to herself and has an autographed face pillow (you know, a pillow with a picture of someone’s face on it).
The Tim Ferriss Show
Self-professed human guinea pig and bestselling author (The 4-Hour Workweek, The 4-Hour Body, and most recently Tools of Titans). Ferriss deconstructs world-class performers from areas such as investing, chess pros, end of life, and athletes, to help listeners find tactic and tricks to use in their own lives. I will admit, some of this stuff is pretty out there but I enjoy hearing about it nonetheless! Most episodes follow long-form, interview style, but there are also shorter episodes lasting only a few minutes spread throughout.
Stuff You Should Know
Josh and Chuck from HowStuffWorks.com break down stuff you should know about everything… and I do mean everything. Tardigrades, Quinoa, Death Tax, Malls, Pacifism, and Circumcision. They really cover it all and try their best to do it in a non-biased way. They simply do what any of us would do when confronted with a subject we know nothing about. They research it. They just present their findings so that the rest of us don’t have to search the deep recesses of the internet. It’s all in one convenient location for your reference.
The School of Greatness
Lewis Howes is a bestselling author, lifestyle entrepreneur, and former pro athlete from my current state of Ohio. After an injury that ended his professional football career, Howes was left wondering what to do next. He found a passion for learning about business, marketing, and adding value to people’s lives. He interviews and shares inspiring stories from some of the most impressive and successful people in the world, especially those in professional sports, business, and the entertainment industry.
Mind Pump Radio
If you don’t like profanity and generally taboo subjects, then I would advise you to skip this one. While I do not agree with all of their health, fitness, or nutrition advice, it’s nice to see a group of people trying to break through the pseudo-science and general BS that is so pervasive in the industry. If you’re looking for something different than the standard fitness magazine workout and diet plans, check these guys out. Plus, they spend about half the episode telling random, borderline inappropriate stories. It’s hilarious.
Of course, I listen to more than this, but there you have it! My TOP FIVE (plus one) recommended podcasts you listen to. Because if you’re going to be stuck in your car for 4.33 YEARS of your life, you might as well do something with that time.