Whether your commute to work is 15 minutes or two hours, what you do during the trip can improve your performance in the office. The Harvard Health Newsletter reported that the average American adult spends an average of 101 minutes driving each day. Many people spend this time aimlessly flipping between radio stations.
But there’s a better way to use this untapped time—listen to business and career self-improvement audiobooks. Since most books are six-to-eight hours long, an average commuter would be able to “read” almost 50 extra books in a year. In this article, we discuss seven great career-boosting audiobooks perfect for listening to during your commute.
1. “Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us” by Daniel H. Pink
At just under six hours, this audiobook is a quick listen. Author Daniel Pink talks about how the normal strategies of motivating ourselves, usually either through reward or punishment, do not work anymore. This book is thought provoking and will teach you new ways to motivate yourself to become a better worker. There is also a section at the end that can be useful for both individuals and companies.
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2. “The $100 Startup: Reinvent the Way You Make a Living, Do What You Love, and Create a New Future” by Chris Guillebeau
“The $100 Startup” is a very interesting book that profiles several successful startups. Author Chris Guillebeau talks about finding success by pursuing your passion, and he shows that you don’t need to spend a lot of money or time on the planning stages. At the least, this audiobook is a fun and motivational listen – it describes people who took their passions and made them into successful businesses. (Read more in "Best Books for Entrepreneurs.")
3. “Eat That Frog!: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time” by Brian Tracy
Author Brian Tracy is an expert in self-development and success. “Eat That Frog!” is a good book for people at many life stages, from student to executive, since procrastination is a habit many people struggle with. Applying Tracy’s tips to tame procrastination can help you become more productive in your business and personal life.
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4. “Pitch Anything: An Innovative Method for Presenting, Persuading, and Winning the Deal” by Oren Klaff
Need to negotiate a raise, pitch a new idea to investors, or secure new clients? Then “Pitch Anything” is the perfect read for you. Author Oren Klaff’s passionate voice will keep you going during your boring commute and teach you the method that will gain you more success.
5. “Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill
If you haven’t read this classic, don’t wait any longer. There is a reason why this business book still tops the charts, even though it was first released in 1937.
6. “Scrum: The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time” by Jeff Sutherland
"Scrum" takes a look at faults in how we work and looks for more efficient ways to achieve results. The book lays out so-called Scrum principles and claims that those who can apply the principles in the right sequence can “accelerate productivity and quality as much as 1200%.”
7. “The Virgin Way” by Richard Branson
Anyone who owns their own airline AND private island is probably worth a listen. English business mogul Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Records, Virgin Mobile, Virgin Atlantic Airlines and literally hundreds of other companies under the Virgin Group umbrella, has an estimated net worth of $5 billion. Branson has an interesting life story that will prove helpful to anyone facing challenges or in a leadership position. In the book, Branson describes how he battled dyslexia, dropped out of school at 16 and has only ever worked for himself. (Read more in What advice has Richard Branson given to would-be entrepreneurs?)
The Bottom Line
You may have little control over the length of your commute, but you can choose what you listen to during it. Ask your local library about audiobooks – many have classic business audiobooks and even newer titles available for only the price of a library membership (free). You can also purchase audiobooks through services like iTunes and Audible.com.