As a contract therapist, you drive a lot. Since December, my wife and I have put over 25,000 miles on our car. We have to drive across country to my new job location, plus when we get there we spend every weekend taking mini road trips to make sure we are able to see as many of the sights as we can. That adds up to lots of hours in the car. When we went on our honeymoon, we drove to Florida and talked basically the entire time. It was great. We drive so much right now, that even though we love each other dearly, sometimes it’s nice to not have to talk and just drive/ride.
That was the case until I realized that the time spent in the car doesn’t have to be wasted time. There are several different things that my wife and I like to do when we are in the car, that don’t always involve just talking about random topics, although we still do enjoy that. For the past 8 months, we have put a concerted effort into making sure our drive times aren’t just burnt hours, but that the time in the car is “accomplishing” something.
The biggest thing that my wife and I like to do is listen to podcasts. We listen to all sorts. I know I’m behind the curve on listening to podcasts, seeing as we’ve only been into it a short time, but there is so much good content out there. For gaming, I’m a big fan of listening to The Dice Tower Podcast. They cover interesting topics and it’s relatively easy listening. They keep the show moving with different segments that discuss several different aspects of the hobby and I get a lot of exposure to games that I’ve never heard of. I also like listening to the Plaid Hat Games Podcast. That show is more focused on their products, but they’re a fun bunch to listen to.
I’ve also gotten into serialized fiction podcasts, and I’d be remiss to not mention a few of my favorites. Disclaimer: The content on these podcasts is not family friendly, so listen without the kids around. My favorite has been a series called Limetown. It’s a fictional documentary style show about a town where 300 people went missing overnight. Very good quality and VERY creepy. I also really like The Black Tapes podcast which is the same style as Limetown, except about the paranormal. If you’re a Walking Dead fan then you should definitely check out We’re Alive. This is more of a radio theater show that takes place immediately following a zombie apocalypse.
Outside of podcasts, my wife and I do some of our best brainstorming while riding in the car. This website was actually conceived while we were taking a day trip. We make sure that we always had a pad of paper in the car in case a good idea strikes us. Along those lines, being a gamer yields itself to thoughts on possibly designing a game. We have pages of ideas on potential game designs and mechanics that might someday work in a game. We’ve even spent time developing games in their early stages that may someday even make it to the market.
Time spent in the car doesn’t need to be wasted. Even if it’s something as simple as listening to a podcast, we always feel better about that time than simply clicking through the radio stations.
What things do you do while spending time in the car to be productive?