I’m a pretty patient person when it comes to dealing with people, but I’m extremely impatient when it comes to day-to-day activities.
I want to get things accomplished as quickly and effectively as possible.
I’m talking about (and have a solution for!) something the majority of people can relate to: the daily work commute.
I live within 30 minutes of each campus I work at, and I teach online quite a bit, so I feel like I’ve come to a point as an adjunct where my time is spent rather effectively. However, I still try to squeeze as much value as I can out of that hour-long commute (fortunately, it’s only twice a week this semester).
The answer? Audiobooks.
My mood and energy level determine which book I’ll choose for that particular day, and it makes a remarkable, positive difference in my demeanor:
Scenario 1– Often I feel a bit drained when driving to a different campus after already having taught morning classes, so I’ll listen to some familiar ‘chick lit’ authors whose books I read during college summers (Candace Bushnell, Sophie Kinsella, Emily Giffin, and Meg Cabot to name a few). This is a treat for me, since I rarely watch TV, so it’s the perfect way to get some relaxation in before getting to my next campus- and any traffic I may encounter along the way just gives me more time to indulge.
Scenario 2– Most of the books I read are nonfiction and encourage growth, reflection, and learning. Since I enjoy being a student as much I enjoy being a teacher, I tend to read/listen to anything that’s educational (mostly communication or psychology-related). When I want to feel that enthusiasm that comes from learning something new, I’ll opt for these types of audiobooks during my drive.
The public library might not have everything I’m specifically looking for, but they’ve got plenty of options to choose from.
A few weeks ago I had just 15 minutes to get in and get out of the library, so I grabbed a variety of books I thought I’d enjoy- most of which I’d heard of but had never sought out:
The 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Great Leader by John C. Maxwell
Disciplined Dreaming: A Proven System to Drive Breakthrough Creativity by Josh Li
Flip: How to Turn Everything You Know on It’s Head- and Succeed Beyond Your Wildest Imaginings by Peter Sheahan
My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist’s Personal Journey by Jill Bolte Taylor
The Undomestic Goddess by Sophie Kinsella
Lipstick Jungle by Candace Bushnell
I’m making my way through each of them.
I just finished The 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader, which was full of excellent guidance for any person. Currently I’m listening to My Stroke of Insight which has caused a shift in my perspective, and a greater appreciation for the human mind.
So if you’re looking for a way to not just tolerate your work commute, but actually look forward it, I encourage you to play around with what works for you. I can honestly say I get excited to listen to great books on my way to class.
Tiny changes add up, and I believe there’s positive to be gained from everything in life. Even if you have to experiment a little.