This post originally appeared on Levo League.
My job requires me to drive several hours a day as I visit and consult customers within my territory. I end up spending a lot of time in traffic a day, despite my best efforts to avoid it.
As someone who went from a job that was all about productivity, it was hard for me to adjust to the feeling that I was wasting so much precious time stuck behind the wheel of a car.
That was, until I realized that I could find productive things to do while I was driving. Here are my tips and tricks to productivity when you are frequently behind the wheel as part of your job!
1. Go Wireless
Since I end up taking conference calls while I am on the road, a hands-free device allows me to drive, listen, and talk at the same time. It makes driving much less stressful if you’re not holding a phone and it also frees your hands up in case you need to quickly jot a note. I do not advocate writing while driving, but you gotta’ do what you gotta’ do. If you find yourself in standstill traffic, that is the moment to jot down any important information you have received in your call!
2. Put It On the Record
Since I am a writer and keep a blog as a side activity outside of work, I like having the ability to dictate notes to myself to review when I get home. Most smart phones come equipped with a voice recording app or you can download a higher quality app if you so choose. Dedicated voice recorders are readily available as well if you would prefer to take conference call notes on a separate device while driving. Once you get over the fact that you are talking to yourself, it can actually be quite a mental relief to have your thoughts recorded for you to return to later.
If you have an iPhone 4s or later, your phone has built-in functionality for speech to text. However, there are many other applications that you can buy that will effectively do the same thing, sometimes even more accurately. Dragon Dictation is an application that stands out as a reliable means of speech to text dictation that can help you draft emails, business review, or memos on the go. You could even theoretically write longer pieces with these apps, but I find that it becomes more trouble than it’s worth. I prefer to use such apps to keep track of short messages that I can review for spelling or grammatical errors and send once the car is stopped.
4. Zen Time
Now, this may seem incredibly strange to many of you, but I have found that the best way to combat the stress of traffic and driving is to turn your vehicle into a mobile spa. You just need a few simple things in your car to turn stop and go traffic into enjoyable time with yourself. Create a playlist of relaxation music, set up an aromatherapy air mist (I’m a fan of Bath & Body Works Stress Relief Pillow Mist), slip on a pair of comfortable driving shoes, and have some luxurious hand and nail cream on hand. The idea is to turn your surroundings into something more pleasant while you drive. It’s something insanely simply that you can do multiple times a day for a quick pick-me-up!