The Personal Development Commute

Activities like reading books and learning new skills are usually some of the first things to fall off someone’s to-do list. Unfortunately, they are also the very things that can change our lives. In relation to that, I often hear and have previously given the excuse of “I don’t have enough time”.

The trick then is finding time that you’re already spending and making it more productive and efficient. For instance, when I go into the office, I have a long commute in the car. Years ago I decided to use this No Extra Time (NET)–as Tony Robbins calls it–to do something productive.

Over the years, I have “read” hundreds of personal development and other books while I’m driving to work through books on tape, CD and now iPhone. I’ve learned Portuguese and refreshed my German language skills while driving the NJ Turnpike. I’ve picked up skills on  DIY projects while driving to the shore. The possibilities are endless.

The newer world of podcasts has opened up an entire new content universe of learning. Podcasts have been the biggest change in my personal development commute in the last ten years. Here are a few of my favorites:

  • Stanford’s Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders Series – a classic where amazing people come to share in a class at Stanford.
  • Entrepreneur on Fire, John Lee Dumas – quick and a high level of energy, John address issues through conversation and interviews
  • Ask Altucher – James Altucher’s daily Q&A podcast
  • The James Altucher Show – Jame’s longer form weekly podcast interview series.
  • The My Wife Quit Her Job Podcast – great stories about the beginnings of online businesses, inspiring to hear about different people ‘starting.’
  • The #AskGaryVee Show –  I loveGary Vaynerchuk’s stuff and this has a great range of digital info and business insight in general.
  • The Tim Ferriss Show – a little on the longer form side but Tim always comes at things from an interesting perspective.  Plus, just hearing Tim reminds me to think+do his other teachings.
  • Mad Marketing by Marcus Sheridan – the Sales Lion is one of my favorite finds in that he has absolutely amazing digital / business related content, but isn’t one of the  “brand names” in the field so it is even more real.
  • Accidental Creative – always great stuff about creativity, digital, etc..
  • Bigger Pockets Podcast – all about real estate investing.  I thought I knew about real estate and this is inspiring me in completely new ways in regards to real estate investing.

Next time you think to yourself, “I don’t have time to learn X,Y,Z” download a few podcasts or open a YouTube video and listen while you commute. 

Commuting School: Learn Anything in No Extra Time

 

Have you ever wanted to navigate patent law, learn a new programming language, solve for X in a Diophantine equation? How would you like to learn it almost automatically, without having to spend any extra time on it throughout your day?

I was first introduced to the term No Extra Time (NET) by Tony Robbins.  While I had occasionally used my commute time productively, I wasn’t necessarily paying attention to the potential power that this force could have. That was years ago and learning something on my commute meant fumbling CD’s in and out of my car’s CD changer and trying to keep the order of them correct.

Now I have a library of  iTunes and podcasts at my fingertips. And if I’m taking a train, there’s even more opportunity to learn from the rich video learning experiences available.

The true beauty of NET time is that its otherwise essentially wasted time. How can you use it? 

The average commute for a person in the U.S. is somewhere around 26 minutes per day each way.  52 minutes a day times the average number of working days per year… I wonder if that’ll be enough to learn that thing you’ve always wanted to learn?

I bet it is. Have a productive commute.