Do you find driving delightful?
This school year my mom carpool duties include: three kids, three different school day start times, two school campuses, several carpool lines, three different school day end times. Plus, I drive to and from errands, orthodontic appointments, volleyball/cheerleading/tennis practices, games, and more. On any given day, I can easily spend three hours in my car. There were days at the start of this school year that I spent up to five hours driving around in the late summer Texas heat, with my car’s poor air conditioner pounding allergy-laden air into my face. Add to that the backdrop of frequent radio station commercials and traffic updates (not to mention sometimes complaining and/or arguing kids)…. Well. Driving had become not-so-delightful for me.
So I asked my facebook followers for their best tips regarding…
Those facebook followers of mine are geniuses, I tell you! Here are their ideas:
While in motion in the car alone:
- Listen to audible books, fiction and non-fiction! Bethe Wright said, “I subscribe to Audible.com and get one book download a month for $16. Since a typical audio book on iTunes or Amazon might hit $25, it’s a great deal for me. Plus, if I don’t get around to downloading a book one month, you don’t lose the credit, they just stay in your account until you use them. I was worried it might be a scam at first, but my husband and I have been using it for about three years and I read so many books that way (I have a 14-month-old, so I don’t have as much reading free time as I used to).” Amy Drown adds, “you can even download audio book classics for FREE on sites like www.librivox.org.
- Use the dictation function on your phone to brainstorm ideas out loud, compose emails, write blog posts, etc.
- Make/return phone calls.
- Some e-readers will ‘read’ your current book aloud to you while you’re driving!
- Listen to daily podcasts of world news.
- Listen to the Bible. My church is reading the Bible in a year and several people I know listen to the daily reading each morning on their way to work.
While in motion with kids in the car:
- Talk. Christy Oates said, ” When the kids are IN the car, I make time for conversation WITH them. No phones, no radio, etc. Just us talking. Some of our BEST conversations happen in the car.”
- Work on memorizing a weekly Bible verse together as a family.
- Sing along to favorite music.
- Keep a stack of kid books in the car so that the minions can entertain themselves or so that older siblings can read to younger siblings.
- Play educational CDs. Preslaysa said, “We play learning CDs for the children which are set to song. We’re learning the states and capitals, history snippets, math facts, science facts, English grammar, Latin, etc. I have all these random facts floating around in my head now. My 4 year old son takes violin and so I play the musical pieces which he has to learn as well.”
Time when you’re sitting still in your car, waiting:
- Read on paperback/e-reader/phone. This one’s somewhat of a no-brainer. We’re all book fans here, after all.
- Nap. One mom knows it’s time to wake up when her kids enter her car and/or when the parents behind her in the carpool line start honking.
- Office from your car! Lots of women told me that they keep a ‘mobile office’ in their car so that they can pay bills, write thank you notes, read emails, organize their calendar, sort mail.
- Clean. This one never occurred to me, but lots of you are apparently using this downtime to clean out your purse and/or the interior of your car. One lady keeps wet wipes and mini trash bags stashed in her car for just this purpose.
- Work on your Bible study. “If I’m by myself I try to pray, pray, pray! It’s a good quiet time,” says Lanna Webb.
- Keep a notepad and pen in your car so that you can make lists of menus, groceries, errands, Christmas gifts.
- Get craftsy. Several women told me that they take their craft projects with them. Things like crochet, simple sewing fixes, stitchery. One industrious lady even scrapbooks in her car!
I’ll close by saying that I’m currently testing out the 30 day free trial that Audible offers. I decided to download a research book for my next novel onto my phone, which was super easy to do. I haven’t even messed with ear buds. I just prop my phone up whenever I’m in the car alone, and hit play. I LOVE it! I mean, I really love it. The book is great, I’m learning a lot, I’m entertained. Most of all though, it really helps to pass the time. Lately, I’ve actually been pulling into my garage and turning off my phone with a sense of regret because I’d become so engrossed in my book.
How do you make driving productive? Do you already use any of the above tips?